When I hear about “the Art World” selling paintings for millions of dollars it is confusing because for me the commodification of art is not Art. This activity has about as much resemblance to Art as financial speculators in pork belly futures have to enjoying bacon for breakfast. Sure they are technically the same thing but one has to do trying to make money and the other has to do with personal enjoyment. The true experience of creating art and buying something that resonates with you is deeply personal and unconcerned with current fashion or whims. I believe an Art customer is seeking a soul connection. When an artist is truly doing their “cosmic job” yes, I consider “art-making” a spiritual practice, the artist is a “sensitive” who absorbs information around them, they processes it, hold it like a vessel and then allow it to pour out of them into the material world. Information comes to an artist from many different sources and it is expressed through their choice of outlet, but ultimately it is like birthing a child whose DNA is a mixture of all the artist has come in contact with from many levels of awareness at different times in their lives. That is the “art making” experience, it is not always pretty or safe, but it is real.
So the Ojai Studio Arts, I would have to describe us as real artists. Our styles and intentions are varied. Some are inspired by nature, by visual input of color and texture, some are more inspired by political conditions and the state of the world, others interpret dreams and emotions, but all are processing and outputting their uniqueness. What makes our “Annual Tour” in October so amazing is that we “the Ojai Studio Artists” are allowing you into our studios, our lives, our homes, we are opening up ourselves up to visitors giving them the most intimate look into our processes. It is a generous experience. Many are touched by this intimacy and many visitors collect our work not because they are hoping to sell it one day for a million dollars but because the artwork has allowed them to have this deeply intimate connection with another soul. They buy us because they want to own that experience. When they look at that painting, sculpture, decoration they are taken back to a moment in Ojai and reminded that they experienced something magical.