“After You” 24×35, oil on canvas $375 Buy Now SOLD

Back in January, I was the artist of the month at the Scotts’, a great little tapas restaurant near the lakefront in Mandeville.

The show was up for a month during which a man’s wife saw a painting similar to today’s. She sent him a picture of it, and he came into the Scotts’ looking to purchase it. I’d already taken down the show so he asked for my contact information from whomever was working there that day.

Now, this is where the story gets odd. Somehow, whoever it was, gave him the contact info for an artist named Denise Hawkins. She happens to live in Nashville. He contacts her, trying to buy the painting. What does Denise Hawkins do? She does a little research, finds ME, forwards the man’s contact information.

I met the buyer at P.J.’s coffee, and I sold the painting–one Mandeville resident to another with the help of a very kind, very helpful Nashville artist. Whew.

About a week ago I was listening to a discussion on NPR about STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education and the current political (and other) attitudes which privilege it above the humanities. With the rising cost of higher education, can one justify a degree in the humanities, the program asked. Is liberal arts education dying?

A proud recipient of not one, but three degrees in humanities fields (i.e. impractical), I couldn’t help but feel threatened by this new emphasis on STEM.

I also come from a family of STEMish people, and I will most certainly admit that their material and financial circumstances so far exceed my own that I can hardly imagine a similar lifestyle. But when I look at the various STEM fields surrounding me, I see an emphasis on competition. When I look at my albeit very small artist world I see cooperation. We can all learn from one another. Competition has its place. So does cooperation, although I think we often overlook it and might continue to do so should we forget the humanities altogether in higher education. And let’s not forget that a good liberal arts education always includes the sciences.

Underlying all my interactions with other professional artists has been a spirit of good will and cooperation. Most of the artists I know (in person but mostly on-line) are fierce entrepreneurs– their livelihoods depend upon the sale of their work, and yet somehow still, they are willing to share their secrets and offer tips– both artistic and business. After all, if the world becomes a more artful place, we all benefit.

I follow Denise Hawkins of Nashville now, and you should too. Here’s a link to her facebook page and another to her website. You won’t be disappointed.


The painting I wouldn’t have sold without a little help from a fellow artist.

I loved the painting Denise helped me sell so much, that I revisited for Day 7. This time I thinned down my paint again and used the palette knife whereas in the older version, I used no medium, just paint. I also borrowed the colors from a smaller painting with a similar image I’d done months ago. I took my time with this one. There aren’t all that many strokes in it so I wanted each one to count.