Thursday, March 23, 2006
Patch of Blue, 2006, Oil on Panel, 18x24
Yesterday, I got a call from Gallery 100 in Saratoga Springs. They've recently sold two more of my paintings and would like me to bring them about eight more. This is the kind of development that can really make an artist giddy! To have work selling that is not included in an exhibition, well, that is like frosting on the cake.
I first met with the owners of Gallery 100 in the spring of 2004. I had been painting seriously for about 6 months and I had enough nerve to call them and ask if I could show them my work. They agreed to see me, so I took in a whole variety of things that I had been working on. Deb, one of the owners, was very blunt and said that some things weren't working, the texture of the gessoed panel was distracting from the image and she wondered what my goals were. She did like the glazing and some of the colors (my palette was quite different than it is now), but said that she wasn't really interested in showing my work at that point, although she did suggest that I continue to send her slides or jpegs of new work. Deb was nice, honest and her criticism was constructive but I still felt like a jerk while I packed up my paintings. I learned after that to have a quick way of wrapping up paintings so I could zip right out of the gallery after a bad critique.
I hung on to my defenses for a few days then finally decided to change a few things based on what Deb had commented on. I sanded down the gesso (just a little) and I made some decisions about what I wanted as far as exhibiting. I sent her another batch of slides later on in the year, and was also showing in some other galleries in the area and sent her the cards from those. In May 2005, Deb called me and suggested that I bring in about five pieces that they would show in conjunction with a larger show. They had good feedback, sold a piece or two and then added me to their website. Later in the year, I was asked to submit four pieces to their holiday small works show. I knew this was important and made sure that the pieces I sent them were REALLY, REALLY, REALLY good. All of them sold, three during the show and the last one just after. I have also been asked me to participate in another gallery event this summer.
So, despite still feeling foolish and a little embarrassed - I do tend to hang on to things - about our initial meeting, I am proud of being able to take criticism (art school prepared me well for that), move on and have the chance to develop a good and mutually beneficial relationship with this gallery.
But, back to the present. After doing a quick count of what I have in inventory, I realized that I have to actually paint those eight pieces, uh, like, next week. I try to keep at least 5 or 10 pieces on hand for when things like this come up, but I am currently preparing work to take to the Harrison Gallery next week, so I don't have too many extra paintings right now.
Of course. Ain't that the way?