Tuesday, May 29, 2012

reflections on the weekend

Allaire State Park, Wall, NJ

My main body of work – my wooden sculptures – are shown at the Accent Gallery. But some of other work, I try to sell from home or on-line. There seem to be so many artists on Esty these days- why should one more artist open a store? Some artists would rather die than list their work on this website. But I took the plunge to list some of pre-graduate school work on Esty. The decision is an economic one. I really need the money. Sure, I have a full time teaching art in an elementary school – but with the recent political scene in New Jersey … well, you know, times are tough. On more of a spiritual note, I feel sad that my work is at my house. I want to share these pieces with someone who will treasure them. Hopefully, my work will bring joy to others. The pieces have no life if they are not on display somewhere.
sharing the sunflower
Just recently, I had a client over to the house to view some artwork. This was the first time a client had come to my home to view the pieces. I was excited, eager and hopeful. She brought a friend and the husbands even came along. Upon their arrival, I opened my studio to them and showed them current works in process and showed them my gardens. Then, we went to the house to see my paintings. I loved sharing the stories of my process, explaining the inspiration for each piece, what material I used, so forth and so on. Even more fun was the watching the women’s faces as they thought about what the work meant to them, and listening how the colors expressed meaning to them, and how they could live with the work on a daily basis. There was even talk of a commission. During this time, I presented little Italian cookies and offered homemade ice-tea to further welcome the guests in my home. Two hours later, the ladies and their husbands left with the promise of a call back. An email did arrive, but alas, nothing in my inventory suited the woman’s furnishings or color scheme. I was crushed.

Red Rocks, CO.
I wrote about my feelings to my blog class taught my Susannah Conway (see the little Blogging from the Heart square on the left?). A really insightful, beautiful young woman, Jessica Brogan, responded to how I felt. Her questions about my feelings were right on. I took a good hard look at myself and my hurt. I wanted this client to have my artwork – to have my story as I tell it in pictures. Doesn’t everyone just want to be heard? But as Jessica wrote  “if it's not right for her, then she shouldn't have it. She's just being honest.” Jessica is really insightful and a talented artist -  words never rang so true. My story needs to be heard by those who want to listen. If someone is not listening, then I just need to find someone who is. I don’t think that I would be happy to have a person buy an artwork that isn’t going to love it and want to look at it everyday.

Estes National Park, CO

Today, I loaded a few more images of my paintings on Esty. I know now – if someone buys my work, they want it. If they don’t, it wasn’t meant for them. My  paintings are precious stories to be cherished by those who want to see the same beauty in the world that I do. And I know now that not everyone will want to see the same beauty. I have posted some photographs of how I see the world for you to enjoy  (or not and that's okay.)

Austurias, Spain

1 comment:

  1. Laura I understand your hurt completely. Here in Northumberland our local artists network has an annual summer Open Studio event called the Art Tour. I participated for many years but not in the last 3 or 4.

    When we opened our studio, Horsley Printmakers, I always had a sense of excitement and anticipation that visitors would come, see my work, like it and then decide they must have it and buy it.
    Many times that did happen and it felt great.

    Many times it didn't happen. Like you I love the process of talking to people, sharing the how and the why. The bit I find hardest is when someone appeared to really like the work, got excited about it but then left without it OR harder still, then went on to buy my business partners work instead. (Jealous? Yes. Crushed? Yes. Feeling inadequate and not quite up to the mark? yes.)

    It was somehow easier when it was obvious they just didn't like it.

    But when someone does buy or commission a piece it makes up for the other rejections. Better still when someone who has bought your work before and then they come back another year to see your latest work because they want to own another piece. That's really satisfying.