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A Creative Process

There is an enriching dialog that goes on between my clients and me. Sometimes people look at work I've created and they want to buy it. Then there are people who see what I'm working on and want to engage my imagination in making something for them. Both reactions are enlivening and satisfying. I often read collectors saying that they treasure their relationships with artists, well, the same can be true for artists with collectors and patrons.

The pictures here are of one client so that I can show the process. She is someone I knew in high school and didn't see for thirty years. She came to my house and saw my work on the walls and asked if she could hire me to make collages of her. She lived in the Berkshires and New York City so she flew me east to make the pictures. I spent three or four days with her during the Cristo Gates project. She treated me like a queen. We walked various sections of Central Park so I could take pictures. She took me to one fabulous meal after another and a play every night of my choosing and we had various photo sessions with her weaved into this. The conversation was informed, fun, funny and sometimes moving. I sent her various pictures to choose from and she picked two.

This was in a period when she was falling in love with a man who would become her husband. They brought me to their wedding so that I could make another picture of the two of them. One of the presents they got for their wedding was a trip to the Lightning Fields in New Mexico. They included me in this, too. And that experience informed my next public art project (which will be seen in 2008) in exactly the way meeting Tilda Swinton did my previous one. This couple have been immeasurably valuable to me as friends and supporters. I only hope that my work can give half as much back to them as they continue to give me.     ----Lucy Gray