For those who are familiar with my work, or those just being introduced to it for the first time, welcome.
I approach Patreon at a crucial time where I endeavor to remain in my studio to continue with my journey with the totem painting series. I took the plunge in 2013-2014 by investing all remaining financial resources, to work full time in creating a body of work, which I called “Journeying With The Totems”. The goal was to have enough pieces to submit for solo exhibitions, and with some success, further develop my studio work on a full time basis. There are so many wonderful older totems, which I want to record on canvas: time capsules in their natural aging process.
I did have great success in being selected for solo exhibitions starting in 2015, with shows at,
- -The Silk Purse Gallery, West Vancouver BC
- -The MacMillan Art Gallery, Parksville BC
- -The Port Moody Art Gallery, Port Moody BC
- -The Mission Arts Gallery, Mission BC
Within a conventional 5-year cycle to build the momentum for an artist’s new body of work, the next step was to relocate from Vancouver to Vancouver Island. Vancouver had become too costly for this artist. I knew that my series on the totems needed to be based on the Island, and hoped to gradually build relationships with the First Nations community there. The business plan which I presented to the bank was to buy a basic home where I could improve my studio workspace, add a workshop space, and develop a gallery setting where the public could come and see my work, and see me at work. It was a great plan, but exactly at the time my condo finally sold four months later, the bank shut the door on me, insisting that it couldn’t finance a mortgage for a self-employed artist (which they had known all along). In the end, after much chaos and angst, I managed to get a mobile home on the Island. So the ‘business plan’ took a bit of a beating but the artist in me had to continue on and turn lemons into lemonade.
Since the relocation in April 2016, two of the paintings were selected for the 2016 Sooke Fine Arts Show and three others selected for the 2016 Sidney Fine Arts Show. Both are very large annual shows that take place on Vancouver Island. The Solo Exhibitions as Art Shows did have some sales, but not enough to keep things afloat on the home front. I’ve been fortunate to have some Icon commissions came in just in time to have income coming in. But it is that catch-22 with commission work. It helps pay some bills but it doesn’t allow time to work on the totem series. I’ve tried doing both at the same time but, even though both subjects are iconic, I found them too different to successfully switch the mind set from one to the other.
Not knowing where or when that next income would come in is also a very stressful way of life. That is an artist’s way of life. But now that I’m in my fourth year of working in my art full time, I remain hopeful that, with the idea of a 5-year cycle, it will finally come together in this coming year.
This struggle to cover my family’s needs and to continue with my artwork brings me to Patreon. The moral and financial support from Patreon would allow my continued work on the totem series, while preparing for further submissions, and remaining true to the goals of that series. The dialog around the series is exciting but still in its infancy. The series needs to include any and all totems of historical importance, being the treasures that they are, and not just those that may be more commercially successful.
The other goal, with successfully reaching that level of support, is to prepare a behind the scenes video(s) for the patrons, of how I do the paintings, and more background information about a painting and the original totem(s) based on. I already have a comprehensive website where patrons and the public can view photo galleries, background information, my journals entries, and news pieces.
An artist cannot exist in isolation within a studio. That contact and support from the public and patron informs and guides my journey.