Over the past year, I have been honoured to represent international award-winning artist BRUCE K. LAWES for his publicity and promotions and watched with great excitement as his paintings have been snapped up by those appreciating his stunning equine portraits, beautiful landscapes and Civil War historical re-imaginings. Now represented by two prestigious galleries in the south-western United States for whom he has already shown and sold several major art works, Bruce is poised to attract an even wider audience with two important upcoming sales in Scottsdale and Tucson, AZ. I spoke with him recently to find out about his new painting projects and career developments.
GF: Since entering the South Western US art markets last year, your historical Civil War paintings and equine portraits have sold well and sold fast. Do you see this as a positive omen for your impending move south of the border?
BKL: Without question, my introduction to the western United States has launched my career in a new direction. My relocation to the U.S. has a dual purpose: first, to be in the same country as the galleries that represent me enables personal appearances and transportation of paintings so much easier. Secondly, to be able to paint outside all year round, snow free, PRICELESS!
GF: You are now represented by two leading galleries, Trailside Galleries with locations in Jackson Hole, WY, and Scottsdale, AZ, and Settlers West Gallery in Tucson, AZ – how has this exposure introduced you to a wider audience?
BKL: I’m showing my paintings with artists who sell their work for hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars; this attracts an elite collector base that is now viewing my work and showing great interest. Also, the professionalism and credibility of these galleries attract the appropriate buyers. The combination of gallery exposure, auctions and a great publicist, Glenda Fordham, continue to move things in the right direction. (thank you…I’m blushing – GF)
GF: Earlier this year, you participated in the famed Coeur d’Alene art auction in Reno, NV, and your portrait of George Armstrong Custer (below) during his Civil War campaign at Gettysburg created quite the buzz and sold very quickly. Then a second Civil War painting sold quickly in Jackson Hole. How has that success motivated you to focus on re-imaginings of Civil War battle scenes?
BKL: As we have previously announced earlier this year, I’m involved as an artistic entity in “To Appomattox”, an upcoming 8-part TV mini series based on that defining moment between Grant and Lee in the Civil War. To be able to draw inspiration from an actual Hollywood production set is going to be very exciting and I think will be reflected in my paintings I produce for the series.
GF: The Wyoming market seems very interested in your stunningly realistic equine portraits – can you tell us a little about your recent sale of “On A Cloud” and the client who purchased it?
BKL: The painting, ‘On a Cloud’ (below), almost did not go to Wyoming for two reasons, I had a client of mine very interested in it and I was also concerned about sending a dressage painting to ‘cowboy country’. As it turned out, my client bowed out and Trailside, WY, assured me that their collector base would be very interested in this work as their clients reside all over the country, many being fortunate to have several holiday homes. In fact, the painting sold at the opening weekend of the show to a Virginia woman who was a competitive dressage rider and had a home in Jackson Hole, but the painting is being hung in her Palm Beach, Florida winter home.
GF: How do you feel about “commercializing” your work by issuing multiple giclees or limited edition posters that are affordable to a wider audience?
BKL: If done properly and for the right reason I think reproductions can show a beneficial result for an artist by bringing greater awareness to their work and an additional revenue stream. Doing corporate projects and fundraising efforts with multiple reproductions can be a great asset to both artist and charity.
GF: You have two important shows coming up in November – what paintings do you have planned for each show?
BKL: I will be flying out to visit the Trailside Gallery in Scottsdale and will be attending the Settlers West opening night in Tucson for their Great American West show on November 22. I will be featuring another Dressage painting called, ‘Ghost Rider’ 40”x 43” at Trailside and perhaps one other, if time permits. At Settlers West I will have a beautiful painting of gray wolves in the winter snow called, ‘Shades of Blues and Grays’ (below) plus a painting of a wild mustang in Montana entitled, ‘Over His Domain’. These are major works sized 26”x54” and 36”x54” respectively. I look forward to meeting all art enthusiasts who come out to see all the amazing artists participating in both events.
Trailside Galleries, Scottsdale, AZ
Fall Classics Exhibition & Sale
November 3-15, 2014
Settlers West Gallery, AZ
The Great American West Show
November 22, 2014
Visit Bruce’s website to see his portfolio of landscape, figurative, equine and historical paintings http://www.bklawesart.com