Nashville artist Roger Dale Brown says artists collect paintings for the same reason any art collector does, but deeper. Read what he means below.
“Artists see differently than the average person,” Brown explains. “People who aren’t artists see the surface beauty, but artists are trained to see subtlety and other aspects of art, so we tend to collect for slightly different reasons. There’s a quality or technical aspect that we appreciate. There are things that spark my interest because I like having those qualities in my paintings … so I gravitate toward them.”
An illustration for a 1950s book, by Everett Raymond Kinstler, pen-and-ink, 14 x 11 in. Collection of Roger Dale Brown
A plein air piece by Quang Ho is a good example of what Brown is describing. “I saw him paint this, and he talked through what he was doing as he painted,” says Brown. “Even the shapes between tree trunks, and the side of the barn, and the large masses, have to be interesting. This is not done off the cuff, but rather, thought out. Each shape has a unique size or randomness, and they are pleasing shapes. Even the small shapes between branches and elements of the ground plane can be beautiful in art. Not everyone will see this, but artists have trained themselves so deeply to see these small things that these details can be appreciated. If as an artist you focus on each shape being pleasing and unique, then it brings a whole other level to the painting. Even the untrained eye can appreciate it, but they may not even know why they like it.”
“Nude Study,” by Scott Tallman Powers, oil on linen, 12 x 9 in. Collection of Roger Dale Brown
Another piece Brown chose to discuss is a pen-and-ink drawing by Everett Raymond Kinstler, an illustration he did for a now-rare book. “I love the way he masses his darks and lights to create a simple composition,” says Brown. “That is one of the most beautiful things in art — assembling the shapes well. The design of the shapes is fantastic, the notan is beautiful, with the harmony between dark and light.”
“China Harbor,” by Roger Dale Brown, oil on linen, 30 x 20 in. Collection the artist
A Scott Tallman Powers figure study is the last piece from his collection that Brown brought up. “The subtle harmonies in the skin tones in reflected light are really beautiful in this,” says Brown. “His tonality of the whole picture is really great, the way he has keyed the intensity of the color, with close values but temperature changes in the skin tones. Not just the shape of the figure, but the internal elements of this piece are really beautiful.”