|HOSTING AN ITINERANT ARTIST:
I only go where I am invited and, for the most part, can travel only to parts of the country where I have enough invitations to make the travel economical. Once I have a list of potential hosts and the times of year they would consider hosting, I can begin to shape my travel plans. So please let me know as early as possible if you are considering being a host.
I will want to know: where you live and a little bit about your surroundings; what times of the year you could consider putting up an itinerant painter for a few days; whether a shorter or longer visit appeals to you; how far in advance you would like to establish a definite visiting date; and any other points that seem important to you.
E-mail is an efficient means of communication, but if you do not have regular access to email, please include a phone number or mailing address in your message. I welcome the chance to answer any questions and establish some rapport through correspondence before establishing any plans.
My primary requirements are: a quiet and private room for sleeping & working, and meals (I am not a fussy eater but limit my eating to vegetarian + dairy + fish). Besides room and board, I do not need much more than a chair and a light. A small table or desk can be useful. When working on small-format paintings, I do not use solvents or splatter paint; it's a fairly tidy process requiring no special facilities. I do not need to be entertained but enjoy getting to know my hosts and the landscape they live in.
I will gladly furnish an extensive list of personal references on request. Contact me for more info or to discuss.
ABOUT THE ART:
The paintings I make during the Itinerant Artist Project are mainly small landscape studies executed in oil on panel. Exactly what I will paint in each location and how I will paint it remain, of course, a mystery until I get there.
The jimmott.com portfolios should give a good sense of my range and general approach to landscape (most of the works shown were done on tour), although please bear in mind that the portfolio paintings are among the best done in 15 years of touring. Circumstances, inspiration, energy level, and painting quality vary from place to place, and that's just how it goes.
The paintings given in exchange for hospitality are typically not commissioned scenes but small studies of subjects that catch my interest. That said, if my host really wants me to paint something in particular, I don't mind requests.
Host paintings are generally comparable to paintings I sell in galleries for $300 -$500. Hosts may purchase or commission additional paintings if they wish. That is not expected but certainly welcome, as occasional sales help me to cover expenses.
Many of the painting I do while touring will be directed toward a series of exhibits documenting the trip, and some are sold after the tour. That is to say, these are working trips, and I keep some key paintings from every stop. However, it is also important to me that my host ends up with a painting he or she likes - typically it is a scene I have painted with the host in mind or simply one of the paintings my host happens to like.
In the end, the more open the expectations and interactions, the closer things get to the ideal of gift exchange. There is an element of the unknown to all of this, an element of chance. So far, though, "art for hospitality" has tended to be a rewarding, mutually-enriching arrangement, and a lot les dry than this write-up sounds!
IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE:
Check out the Project Reviews from American Artist Magazine and various local papers; the original project Press Release (with quotes from hosts); or my short essays on Gift Exchange and Hospitality
Or contact me.
One of the host families from my first tour, the Greenlers, of Stoughton, WI. The photo is blurry because I was rushing - a tornado siren had just gone off. The two girls, who spent most of their waking hours making art while I was there, did not seem impressed by my efforts. But the parents liked what I did and received the painting below, Oak Tree, for hosting.
Oak Tree, approx. 6" x 9". See note above.