Tuesday, November 5, 2013

After the Hanging of Art

Getting a group of paintings done and prepared for hanging took a few of weeks of focused energy. Finally on Sunday afternoon with the generous help of my husband and sister, those paintings were hung at Pearl Street Cafe in Eugene. After attaching the art by wires, leveling and stabilizing each painting, then carefully placing the title/price tags and some informational tags about some pieces, I stepped back and was proud of the way the wall now vibrates with color.

Yesterday I felt a bit lost, without the drive of an immediate goal. As I cleaned up and organized my studio I started thinking about how much I hope to make some sales from this show. That led me to reflect on a post fellow artist Ruth Armitage wrote last week about the artist's ego. Obviously I have enough confidence in my work to think it is worth putting it out for the public to view. But will any of these pieces speak to a viewer and compel them to take it home to their own wall? And if, at the end of this month, nothing sells, what does that do to my ego?

And so it goes in my brain when I clean my studio instead of painting.

But I know I'm not alone in this web of healthy ego mixed with self-doubt. So many of us artist put in a lot of effort for little monetary reward. Whether it is setting up for an open studio, or hauling art to a festival, or putting together a cohesive set of paintings to hang on a cafe wall, we do the work, put our egos out there, and hope for positive feedback in the form of praise, sales, or inquiries.

Regardless of what happens with these paintings now on display, I will "show up" in my studio and paint because that is what keeps me centered and sane. I paint to express myself, constantly searching for even stronger messages as I have in my River Tapestry series.

And if anyone needs a nudge to buy, my daughter suggested a visual subliminal message.


Anonymous said...

LOVE your daughter's gift idea. How creative and clever of her. Hope you sell at least one painting. If you sell one you don't feel skunked. This is always my goal when I have a show. What I love most about a solo show is looking at the body of work which has been created. It is always really impressive. I did all those paintings that are on the wall. Good luck with your show.


Ruth Armitage said...

Thanks for the shout-out for my blog :) I love the subliminal message too. Your show looks great! Best of luck :)

Anonymous said...

What a great idea for encouraging sales!!! Hope it works!
Thank you for the 'Thank you' note. I love the crow & it is going into a frame.

Anonymous said...

Looks good...good luck. LaVonne