Artists Building Relationships With Art Collectors


The idiom or aphorism “God is in the details” expresses the idea that whatever you do you should do it thoroughly and completely. I like to think of such thoroughness as “leaving no stone unturned,” that is, let no detail –no matter how small — go unexamined. And, yes, for any artist “it’s the little things that count” when it comes to establishing relationships with collectors. Those are some of the things that I took away from my conversations with the art collector and entrepreneur Dean Cameron and artist Rush Cole. Yet, surprisingly enough, neither could seem to recall specific moments or words, just that they began to talk, kept the conversation going and art entered into private art collections.

“Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experience treacherous, judgement difficult.” Hippocrates

Dean Cameron says, “I love it when an artist shares their truth about their artwork and even what it means to be an artist (the struggle is real). I enjoy getting to know them personally and not just their pedigree. There is a lot of very beautiful artwork out there and visual attraction can sure get the conversation started, but what usually prompts me to purchase is when I have developed a relationship with that artist. Nearly every painting we own has a story of some type.”

Dean recalls a relationship with an artist that started as a chance meeting at a printer. “The Artists name was d l’Aigle. He was having printing done as well and he and I struck up a conversation. In a very similar fashion he and I became friends, as well as me becoming his publisher. I helped him sell numerous prints and originals. Sadly we lost d’lAigle a couple of years ago. Pam and I own 3 originals. If there is a single key…say hi and strike up a conversation. Even just say hello!”

New Mexico artist Rush Cole

Artist Rush Cole (photo: Herschel Mair, Santa Fé, NM)

Rush Cole recalls that, “Dean and I met on Facebook several years ago through a mutual friend, Marcella Rose…I’m thinking it must have been somewhere around 2005-2007…it’s all a little vague. At any rate, Dean and I communicate occasionally online. Recently, I posted a flurry of artwork from my website and he purchased a small painting.
"YOUNG PUEBLO MAIDEN", 18" x 26", Oil on canvas, Gallery-wrapped: $5500.

YOUNG PUEBLO MAIDEN, 18 x 26 inches, oil painting on canvas, $5500.


Rush Cole’s words remind me of the importance of starting the conversation. No need to wait until you have the perfect elevator speech or business card. (Don’t make excuses, or justify not taking action). We are all human. Others may not remember the exact words or moment you first spoke, but they will remember that you connected with them. Get the conversation started and keep it natural. Have lots of conversation too!

Dean Cameron also values his friendship with Marcella Rose, saying, “If I remember correctly, she called me on the phone to ask me about my business at the time American Fine Art Company. We met and it developed from there. I saw her work and got to know her as a person and we hit it off from there. After meeting her and getting to know her, we developed a relationship of me being a publisher for her as well as placing her works in a local gallery.   The first business deal developed when a bank president I know was buying a new condo and the designer asked me if I could show her a collection of some of our artists. She loved an abstract series of Marcella’s and asked for prices of canvas giclees and originals. She chose the giclees…. (I now own the originals…). Marcella has developed an outstanding art career for herself in Minnesota and her works are selling like hotcakes. She is a Flootie artist as well. Pam and I own 10 of her original paintings and 4 of her prints. We talk often and help each other when we can. What inspires me is when someone else is inspired. My advice to artists is to be “engaged” with people. Not everyone will buy your art but friendships and networking lead to opportunities. I can’t tell you how many business deals have developed between friends of friends and a good word.”

 Last year, an Artist Marketing Resources article (read it here ) featured some of the many art projects of Dean Cameron, including mention of his private art collection of over 200 paintings and numerous prints. In a more recent conversation, Dean said–“I am privileged to have made many artist friends (some I have had professional relationships with as well). In many cases I have tried to help artists build relationships through networking without contractual binds as well. Funny thing I have always believed in the cheesy “what goes around comes around” philosophy. Of the over 200 paintings Pam and I own a good 50% are from artist friends. I tell many, that most successful artists sell a lot of work BECAUSE of the Internet. It’s about building relationships and trust in your brand. People buy online when they trust the quality of work or the merchant that is selling it.”

Even Dean Cameron’s online gallery, Flootie, is set up to make connections with each of the artists there. Rush Cole is a Flootie artist member and you can review her portfolio here.

Dean Cameron invites both artists and collectors to connect with him via email ( and join in the discussions on his Facebook gallery page here.

Artist Layne Brady Painted + Gifted More Than 700 Portraits to Families of Fallen Soldiers

Layne Brady

Layne Brady

The skilled and versatile artist Layne Brady created bronze sculptures, landscape and bird paintings, and undertook an amazing portrait project. Tragically, Layne passed away suddenly last April from complications of a bronchial infection. Layne is sorely missed by friend, collaborator and collector Dean Cameron, who would like to pay tribute to Layne is an homage to the artist’s career. One project Dean Cameron and Layne had in the works was a collaboration on a children’s book which Layne was to illustration, but he passed away before he could complete the project. Dean Cameron maintains a posthumous artist profile and portfolio for Layne Brady on his Flootie online gallery site–view it here.

“I met Layne online through a barter network. I liked his work and so we put a deal together. Since that time I fell in love with his style and passion he had for his work. He was a very kind and gentle soul,” says Cameron.

Dean became his agent and placed his work in several galleries that sold his work, including Angel Gallery in Couer d’Alene, Idaho, and Pacific Flyway Gallery in Spokane Valley, Washington.

Dean Cameron misses his artist friend and spoke with admiration, particularly on the late artist’s portrait project, saying, “Layne was a very accomplished portrait artist. I own 7 original paintings of his. He painted over 700 portraits of fallen soldiers that were given to their families at no cost. His wife is in the process of creating prints of his remaining originals and developing a site to sell them.”

Here is a video, made in 2010, with Layne describing how he got involved making portraits for Project. In the video, the artist mentions painting and sending 500 portraits to families of fallen soldiers, but he continued painting for years after the video was made, and ultimately produced 700+ portraits. Anyone can fill out a request form for a portrait of a fallen hero to be painted by current project artists here.


Found on Flootie: Bird, Fish,Turtles, Rabbits and More For Animal Lovers

In the Garden, Debbie Hughbanks

In the Garden, Debbie Hughbanks

Skillfully rendered rabbit fur, in Debbie Hughbanks drawing In the Garden is so believable you may find yourself reaching out to touch your computer screen. It’s a work of realism to rival the famed Young Hare (1502) watercolor painting of Albrecht Durer. Artist Debbie Hughbanks specializes in painting the wildlife around her studio in Washington State in the USA. She may have also traveled to the tropics to see the sea turtles, shells glistening wet, in her painting Taking the Plunge.

Taking the Plunge, Debbie Hughbanks

Taking the Plunge, Debbie Hughbanks

In Daniel Smith’s painting Cowbird Companions, a portrait an American bison stares defiantly at us, unperturbed by the Cowbirds resting on his massive shoulders. All are in a symbiotic relationship, with the birds eating insects around the enormous animals. Daniel Smith’s paintings and Giclee prints are represented by Pacific Flyway Gallery.

Cowbird Companion, Daniel Smith

Cowbird Companion, Daniel Smith

Roman Rocco Burgan knows his fish! While most of us might simply see an expressive and lovely rendering of a gold fish pond is his painting below, the artist identifies the breed or strain of goldfish as Bristol Blue Shubunkin and Golden Rudd.

Bristol Blue Shubunkin and Golden Rudd Fish, Roman Rocco Burgan

Bristol Blue Shubunkin and Golden Rudd Fish, Roman Rocco Burgan

You’ll find beautiful animal art in Marcella Rose’s Flootie portfolio here. The artist grew up on a farm and learned to appreciate animals early in life, painting both the domesticated animals such as cows–that may remind you of Andy Warhol’s cows–but also the lesser seen animals of North American such as wild sheep and deer.

Trailblazer, Marcella Rose

Trailblazer, Marcella Rose

Lovely brushwork on the deer’s body brings the fur texture to life.

GRACE, Marcella Rose

GRACE, Marcella Rose

The sweet face of Country Girl a painting by Marcella Rose below.

Country Girl, Marcella Rose

Country Girl, Marcella Rose

Darrell Sullen’s Ladies First is a little bit of a humourous take on this view of two cows and one bull on the river’s edge to drink.

two cows, one bull by river, Darrell Sullens

Ladies First, Darrell Sullens

Bill Werle paints in soothing and muted tones to portray the predatory owl, its white face punctuating the center of the dark canvas ground.

Figment of Your Imagination- Barn Owl, Bill Werle

Figment of Your imagination -Barn Owl, Bill Werle

Here Bill Werle skillfully captures an autumn forest view with a moose crossing a stream in his painting Just Passing Through.

Just Passing Through, Bill Werle

Just Passing Through, Bill Werle

Animal lovers will find these, and many more paintings of animals on the Flootie online gallery site here.

Found on Flootie: Contemporary Native American + Cowboy Art, Machinery + Landscapes

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing the art on the Flootie website.  Several artists stood out. Here are four, with more to come in future features.

Artist Russ DeVerniero grew up in Billings, Montana and on the Northern Cheyenne reservation at Lame Deer, Montana. His Native father, John Wooden Legs, was a hereditary leader of the Cheyenne People and a Traditional Spiritual leader. Russ was raised with traditional Cheyenne beliefs and spirituality and is an elder of the Cheyenne, Native American Church. His artwork reflects these traditional beliefs and teachings as well as the Taoist teachings of China that he learned while getting his Bachelor of Science degree in Fine Art and Chinese Landscape Painting from Montana State University. He continued his advanced studies at the University of Washington in Native American and Indigenous Art, and then studied Traditional Native Carving at the Fleming College of the Arts in Ontario, Canada. Along with his studies of Native American Art, he also studied the Indigenous Art and Carvings of the Pacific Rim region and the Taoist Landscape Painting of China and the Far East. His artwork is a unique blend of the Native culture he was raised in, the Chinese and Taoist Paintings in which he earned his degree, and the Indigenous Carvings and Paintings of the Pacific Rim region.

Ariel, Russ De Verniero

Ariel, Russ DeVerniero (click on image for details and pricing)


Eagle Dance, artist Russ DeVerniero

Eagle Dance, artist Russ DeVerniero (click image for details)


Contemporary Cowboy artist Buck Mountain, creates intricate ink drawings with watercolor. Click images for full details.

Blue Dragon Fly, Buck Mountain

Blue Dragon Fly, Ink Drawing with watercolor, by artist Buck Mountain

Wash Up for Tea,  Drawing. Ink, Water Color, and Pencil Printed on Archival Paper with Acid-Free Ink, Buck Mountain

Wash Up for Tea,
Drawing. Ink, Water Color, and Pencil
Printed on Archival Paper with Acid-Free Ink, Buck Mountain


Take Two, They're Small, ink drawing with watercolor, by artist Buck Mountain

Take Two, They’re Small, ink drawing with watercolor, by artist Buck Mountain


Landscapes that incorporate early machinery appear in artist Vicki A West’s watercolor painting series Present Past. She finds inspiration in objects from the Shafer Historical Museum in Winthrop, Washington, USA.


Present Past, Vicki A. West, watercolor painting

Present Past, Vicki A. West, watercolor painting

The Invincible, Vicki A. West, watercolor painting

The Invincible, Vicki A. West, watercolor painting (click on image for details)


Nora Egger’s oil painting landscape views are mostly of eastern Washington state desert region and sagebrush country.


Method Valley River, painting by Nora Egger

Method Valley River, painting by Nora Egger (click image for details)


Valley Cows, painting by Nora Egger

Valley Cows, painting by Nora Egger

Artists who would like to join Flootie can use Promo code AMR100 to get 90 days free membership at Basic, Plus and Pro levels. Register here.

Art Marketing Site Promotes Artists and Art Galleries in Unique Ways



Art Marketing Site Promotes Artists and Art Galleries in Unique Ways by Dean Cameron

Having had a 30 year career in Marketing and owning an Online Art Gallery and Publishing business since 2002, it is obvious that “times are a changing”. While there is nothing inherently wrong with traditional methods such as Gallery Representation, Art Shows and such, they are rendered somewhat incomplete with today’s super connected world that we live in. Social Media Networking is paramount to the vast majority of up and coming artists and that is not just Facebook. Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, Stumble Upon, LinkedIn and now YouTube offer unique opportunities and diverse clientele to develop an artist’s brand and to stay connected to interested potential clients. So is Social Media the answer to a successful art career? I would say this. As Social Media came on like a storm so will the next best vehicle (we don’t know what it will be yet because some 12-year-old is inventing it in their mind right now) so we need to be as current as we can be.

One thing I have learned in 30 years of Marketing is that opportunities come from many directions. So our Marketing Plan should take advantage of that and cast a wide net. An Artist needs to have a complete tool box in which to develop their market and build their art creating business. We have developed that Tool Box. creates a menu of items an artist can choose from in order to best suit their plans. Most “Art for Sale” Internet Sites are what we call “Post it and Forget it” type sites. You post your book of work online and hope that someone comes along and makes a purchase. is not that type of Internet Marketing Site. We offer the following features for artists to be proactive in their efforts to sell their works and create their brand.

  • Flootie offers a free listing in our International Artists Directory (see Registration link for Artists and follow prompts).
  • Flootie offers a free listing in our International Art Gallery Directory. Our site works well for Artists and their Gallery partners to work together to market an artist’s brand (see Registration link for Artists and follow prompts).
  • Flootie offers very affordable subscription levels and does not charge upload fees or commissions on sales.
  • Flootie offers one on one support to answer marketing questions
  • Flootie offers all major Social Media links for sharing directly from your art listing. You can share to your network and anyone else can share your works with their networks in an easy efficient method.
  • Flootie offers a direct email invitation tool to share your activity on Flootie.
  • Flootie offers a method to automatically share your latest posts with any fan who selects you as a favorite artist in a “once per week” email notification.
  • Flootie offers an option to embed your Google Calendar to your page to keep people informed of your shows and exhibitions.
  • Flootie offers an option to include a video on your page to bring life to your relationships with potential clients.
  • Flootie charges no commissions for sales so you can drive potential clients to your website, or any other location you wish to generate traffic to. We are not competition. We are your marketing supercharger.
  • Flootie offers a blog for subscriber artists to post their latest stories, reflections and insights.
  • Flootie owns and operates our own TV Studio and produces Flootie TV now being shown in 7 states on 8 Public TV Stations with that number growing fast. Flootie TV incorporates a “general public” approach to the arts with some comedic shorts as well as serious artist interviews. Think of it as “The Tonight Show” for the arts.
  • Flootie is a socially conscious company and has an ongoing program called “Artists Forever” that awards art supplies grants to grade school art classes to empower teachers to supplement their meager art budgets in the school systems and develop the next generation of creatives.

This is by no means the end of this list. Flootie is well underway with even more creative tools for artists to connect with art lovers. Our mission is to make the term “Starving Artist” obsolete. We would look forward to seeing you as a fan, an artist or an art related business. We are a grass-roots and privately owned entity with the sole intention to bring the artists and art lovers together in an intentional way.

About Dean Cameron

Dean Cameron has a 30 year career in Sales and Marketing in numerous industries resulting in relationships with many Fortune 500 Companies. Dean is an Art Collector and owner of American Fine Art Company and (subsidiaries of Highlander Enterprises LLC) and resides with his family in Spokane Valley, WA.