Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Art of Giving

I had the priviledge this past weekend to hang out with some very cool people. Dustin Van Wechel was in Hastings Nebraska at Graham Gallery to share his oil painting expertise. Angela, owner of the gallery, puts on a great workshop. It's more like a play date with friends than anything else.
(Here Dustin is helping Jean with her still life.)

The class culminated in a plein aire event at Praire Loft, an environmental educational conference center located west of Hastings. Paintings created during the day were auctioned off to raise funds for refurbishing Prairie Loft buildings.

Most workshop instructors offer their demo pieces for sale. I've known a few who get downright mercenary about it. Dustin wraps up his workshops by drawing names out of a hat. Those whose names are drawn are the proud owners of his demo paintings. Is that cool? And I'm tickled to tell you that I'm now the proud owner of a real live Dustin Van Wechel 8 x 10 oil painting. Hot Diggity!

Now that I think of it, the entire weekend was about giving. Artists gathered to share with each other in a lovely open supportive atmosphere. Paintings were offered for auction without any expectation of compensation. It was wonderful.

I've given 3 paintings to worthy causes this year. Didn't make a dime. Can't even use it as a tax write off. But y'know what? It feels good. It's an easy way to help build bigger things than me. Dustin gives his demo paintings. Angela gives support and friendship to her artists. What do you give?


Lyn Bishop said...

When we give to others unconditionally, we are able to see and feel the joy that it brings to them. This feeling of appreciation is so important in todays fast paced busy world. This year I've donated prints to several worthy causes, and all have been collected by people who enjoy them. I also enjoy volunteering my time to help other artists. It's very rewarding.

Susie Monday said...

Giving is it's own reward, indeed, but my accountant says I can take a modest deduction for donations as marketing and advertising expenses if they are public and my name is out there. Hope IRS agrees, but that has been his advice, not that this adds up to a lot!