|taken from the back cover of Richard Lau Paintings: 273 Works by the Artist|
I helped artist Richard Lau publish his books. He now has 3 books of his work on Amazon.com. He is a great example of my stand, that artists should document their works, and take pictures of them.
For the art collectors and investors, they will not only have the original works on display, but they can also have the books in their libraries and coffee tables. If they plan to resell the works, they can show the works in the books. They will also appreciate that, in Richard's case, each work is in two books. I will explain later. You will notice that he has been painting for decades now. He still owns all the paintings in these books.
For the artist, having books will have an effect on their own self-image and self-worth. Richard's joke about his age is that he is 35 years old twice over, plus a few more. Never in the past, he says, did he ever dream of becoming an author, which he is - his words are his artwork.
For myself, I have been hanging out in the River North Galleries for years now. I am called a "Friend of the Galleries." I care about them and their gallery businesses and they are always in my thoughts. Years ago, I realized that there are three ways to get to know an artist: Go to a museum and see the choice one or two works representing the artist. Go to a gallery and see a series of works, usually done within a certain span of time. The third, which is the greatest honor for someone like myself, is to visit the artist right where he has everything, right to the dirt and where he would place his brushes and maybe a drink or a cup of coffee. With Richard, I helped him take out his works from his vehicle, and place them in the storage. On the next day, we took them out of the racks in the storage, and started taking pics until we got done hours later.
I have done this a few times, getting to know other artists this way - going to their homes and spending time with them. Some of them are Samuel Bonilla in Madison, Wisconsin, Thomas S. Nelson in Kansas City, Stephen Lowell Swanberg in Chicago and Paul Samuelson from Chicago who passed away more than 20 years ago, the one who started all this for me. Paul invited me to his place to show me how to paint watercolors. I was scrimping, only using a little pigment. He asked me why. I told him that I was just learning and I didn't want to use his paints. He took my left hand that was holding the brush and smashed it to his paint, and said that was how it's done. I promised myself, all this is worth another memoir, that I have to write. These are great moments worthy of a movie someday.
If you are an artist reading this, you must learn to look at other people's works. If you are a collector, I want you to check out the works of my artist friends. If I succeed, so will they. I wonder where Paul Samuelson's works are now.
Richard and I met at church. We usually had coffee daily at the local McDonald's. Early on, we showed pictures of our works on the cellphone, but cellphone pictures tend to be limited in number and resolution. We both took for granted what art each other produced.
Then the subject of how many paintings he really had came up. He said he had about a hundred. I told him I can make a book for him. I told him we will use a digital camera, and it will be fast. So we made plans. His works were in Michigan, and he will drive there to take pictures of his works. I gave him instructions on what to do and what to watch out for when taking pictures.
|We went to the nearby park and took a few pictures for the book|
We later headed for Microcenter, an electronic store, where he bought a digital camera. More than a week later, he went to Michigan and then came back with the raw pictures. Unfortunately, his pictures had his own shadows and most of them were blurry.
Disheartened, we agreed that he would have to return to Michigan and put all of his works into his vehicle, and I will photograph them myself.
Richard had a total of 273 works. So I was photoediting, and towards the end of the thick book that I was making, I realized that the book would be a little pricey, when I checked out Amazon's self-publishing pricing form. Since I already had his files in my computer, I decided to reshuffle the pictures and make 2 thinner books.
The good thing about this idea is that from the same set of works, Richard now has 3 books, instead of just one. He also does not have to produce 270 plus works just to produce a future, comparable book. As soon as between 130 to 140 new works are done, he will have a new 4th book. As soon as another 130-140 works are finished, he will have another thin volume, AND a second thick volume, giving him another 3 books. So if he makes another 270 works, he will have a total of 6 books.
I am encouraging other artists to produce their own books. Make sure you take pictures of your works, with the plan of producing top-quality books. The art collectors and art investors would appreciate it if they can see the original art they have in a book. I believe that it will help us all sell our art. Investors and owners will also hopefully find it easier to sell to the next investor or art collector if they show that the work(s) is included in a book. Something else too. This is why I write memoirs. So the investors and art collectors can know me, without having to meet me. If they have my art, they can give away my picture books and memoirs to get others interested. 300 years from now, Richard will still have his picture books available. Same thing with my own books.
The Big Volume is titled
Richard Lau Paintings: 273 Works by the Artist
|The big volume - Richard Lau Paintings: 273 Works by the Artist|
Click here to purchase at Amazon.com
The two smaller volumes are titled
It Dropped Out and Other Works:
133 Paintings by Richard Lau (Works by Richard Lau Volume 1) Click here to purchase from Amazon.com
Happy Again and Other Works:
140 Paintings by Richard Lau (Works by Richard Lau Volume 2)
Click here to purchase from Amazon.com
As we started taking pictures of Richard's works, he asked me what my brother's name was. I said "Fernando." He then titled the picture below "Fernando." I thought it was a great gesture, and that was how I remember starting work on his collection. With a great gesture on his part, naming the painting "Fernando," and with me making it the first image in the book.
So I'm going to share with you a few pages of Richard's works, as ordered in his big volume of 273 works, Richard Lau Paintings: 273 Works by the Artist, and my work as a book designer. You will notice the page numbers on the pages. These are how the pages look in the book.