"Donuts and Cake" oil 20 x 20 private collection copyright BonnieParuch
You’ve probably heard the expression about success, as “having one’s cake and eating it too!” I’ve been thinking about that lately. This is my first season in Door County as a fully independent artist. For the past twenty some years I’ve been represented by wonderful commercial Fine Art Galleries both here in Wisconsin, and in the Southwestern States. When I first stepped into the national arena, I held the perception that to be a successful artist one had to enter the “big leagues” of commercial representation. Over time, I’ve re-thought that perception.
I am situated in a vital artist colony and collector destination. Like many artists in this area, I benefit from the collective and cooperative art spirit that flourishes in the art scene here. Historically, collectors and artists alike have been drawn to art engaged communities such as this. Provincetown, Cape Ann, Taos, Santé Fe, Old Lyme…these are a few examples of many special places that began with artist exploration and vigor.
I’ve discovered that there are two distinct types of collectors, those who enjoy “finding” and meeting an artist to establish a personal relationship and those who seek the anonymity and cache of a commercial gallery.
I’ve benefited from both situations. As I’ve matured as an artist and grown more comfortable in my “skin”, I have found that I enjoy my personal space and studio more and more. Sharing my work within this framework simply makes me happy, is more personal and frankly, is more profitable.
Many artists have been successful role models for those who seek independence. Locally, painters Gerhard Miller, Jim Ingwersen, and Emmett Johns are among this group. I suspect that we share common purposes to create what we want, to share our creative process and to make a living. Fame is not a common goal. Occasionally, I work with a student or artist whose professed desire is to be famous. I know this is a slippery slope, not for the unwary.
My new space is perfect for me. When I walk into my studio I’m greeted by a beautiful display gallery which is alongside my working space. It feels like home, like “me”.
It’s been a long road to this place and we’ve put in lot of hard work along the way. Right now, I feel like having some cake.