Someone asked me when I first realized I was an artist. I think it started when I realized I have an artist eye. Like some people can hear music and know if the key is off, I can look at a painting and know if it’s working. I’m not bragging. I worked hard to be able to see this way. I honed this skill when I was making my living selling art and antiques in NYC. Since I didn’t have a lot of capital, I had to buy the best art for the lowest price. This meant mostly, buying unknowns and unsigned works. Many dealers rely on the artist signature. They look it up to see the value of the artist’s previous sold works. If the artist is not listed, or there is no signature, they pass on the work.
I couldn’t afford to do that. I had to buy the work based solely on itself. Not the history, not the name, just the work before me. But only, of course, if it appealed to me. If it was looked “right”.
I would see a painting at an auction and know it was right. I was always surprised when there was light bidding – sometimes no bidding at all against me. I remember once the auctioneer even making a joke about the painting. No one would dare bid on it then, except me. I knew it was good. I sold it a few days later for 10x what I paid.
This happened so often that I finally realized, some people see it and some people don’t.
That’s the way it is with all art. Good paintings aren’t made to match the sofa. And art jewelry isn’t made to match the dress. Some people can see that and some people just don’t.
That’s just the way it is. We all see the world a little different. Isn’t that a great thing? I think it is a wonderful thing!
Mary Lu Wason
is a studio jeweler. Here she shares the inspirations, discoveries and process of creating her art jewelry collections.
@PirateTides on Instagram