Saturday, November 4, 2006

I am Moderately Freaked Out

Pink Barn with X's, 2006, Oil on Panel, 6x6

All last week, I was feeling confident about the work that I took to the gallery for the show and in fact just kind of floated through the last few days not thinking about any of it very much at all. I worked on several small, 6 inch square paintings for a small works show, cleaned up the house, caught up on the yard work a bit, did some baking and made a nice lunch yesterday for the guys who are working on our porch. Basically I took it easy and didn't do too much in the studio, kind of forgetting about it all for awhile.

But then last night I looked on the gallery's website and they had posted some photos of the show, including a shot of my section. It looks as if they had decided NOT to hang the 48x60 barn painting (I had suspected they might not-when I dropped it off they weren't too keen on it) AND I can see that at least one piece from a previous show was hung along with the new work. This set off all my anxieties, and I woke up convinced that my newer work sucks and that it was a struggle for the gallery just to find anything good to hang. And Jane's work looks amazing-her paintings are huge and beautiful and I am totally envious, but in a good way really, because I am very happy and proud for her, that she is so successful. It's just that I want that too, and today I am feeling very impatient about about getting there.

I think it helps me a bit ultimately (it's kind of that jinx thing-too much confidence is a jinx in my book) to have all of these doubts and worries, but in the meantime, I am kind of freaking out. I AM disappointed that they didn't like the big piece (mostly because now I have to figure out what the heck to do with it), and while I know and understand that everyone has different opinions (obviously, because otherwise I would be way more successful, we all would be) about what they like, part of me always hopes that everyone will love every painting that I do.

I know that this is all part of the post-show meltdown. The opening will be fine, I will meet cool people and maybe sell a few pieces. It'll be fine. I just need to have a good half day of insecurity, embarrassment and yucky feelings of disappointment in order to enjoy the fun part.

I guess.


meno said...

Oh, the pain of sending your children out in to the world, which doesn't always see them as you do. Sorry to hear about the way you are feeling, but i'll bet the show will be great. Courage!

KJ said...

It sure doesn't take much to tip our scales, does it? I've experienced the same omission of new work and inclusion of old... and it often doesn't even improve the balance. I guess that's the perogative of the gallery director, but it sure does a job on one's self esteem!

Anonymous said...

Well I have no clue which ones are older and which ones are the new ones by looking at it, and they look brilliant! I think they even look better than the top two photos. You are being too hard on yourself, it looks great!

(what is up with the gallery walls though? yikes!)

harold hollingsworth said...

you can only see things the way you see them, and your favorits often won't be others, including your gallery. I experienced this same sort of thing with my last show at Circa Gallery in Minneapolis, shehung works that I had sent a year before, that were part of a different theme. I, like you, was internally spooked, and a little upset, but I kept my face clear of any dissapointment from the dealer. She has to feel confident in translating what I, and any of her artists do, and as long as she felt confident, things will roll your way. Just keep painting, stay curious, focused, and don't let it drag you, and it will pass. My thougts go out to you, stay confident.

Anonymous said...

There's a lovely intimacy about the way your paintings have been hung, and looking at the space my first thought would be that the second large painting would cause an imbalance. If I were the gallerist I would think that it's great to have a 'spare' to be able to fill that space when the big one sells.

Perhaps talking it through with the gallery will allay any fears. Good luck with the show anyway!

Lesly said...

I am sure that what you are feeling is 'normal' after the recent period of intense work spent producing those pieces. Also there can only be a few artists who don't get attacks of the wobbles now and then!

I think Omega is right - it might be an idea to have a chat with the gallery to help to rid yourself of these 'bogeymen' thoughts.

Hope that you feel better about things soon.

amber said...

Thanks for showing us those pictures everything looks great the large one looks fantastic!

James Wolanin said...

Tracy, your work is terrific, the show will be a huge success. Don't worry!

Shan said...

Your work looks wonderful. I think Omega is right--looking at the situation from a curatorial point of view makes keeping one large one tucked away seem like a smart move.

That gallery spaces looks really lovely.

S.L. Peterson said...

Tracy - I think your work looks fantastic in the gallery, and that you have nothing at all to be freaked out about. Congratulations on putting together such a successful body of work for this show! I think the big one they did hang looks beautiful - hopefully it'll sell right away and they'll replace it with the other!

Thanks for posting so honestly about your doubts and anxiety when it comes to preparing for big shows etc. - I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who momentarily freaks out when I let my work out the door.

Lisa Call said...

Hey - if you are looking for a place to store that big painting I've got a spare wall I could hang it on for you. And I won't even charge you a storage fee.

Tracy said...

Meno, Good metaphor! The feeling is natural, I think, but still.

Karen, You've had the same thing happen? It's not just me. So nice to hear that-thanks!

Lauren, thank you, it did end up looking good. What are you referring to on the walls? It may be something in the photos (but I couldn't see anything) as the walls looked fine in real life.

Harold, Thanks so much for your wonderful insights. "Internally spooked" are just the right words to describe the feeling of this. Good advice, too, not to question the gallery director so that she can have confidence on what she is doing.

Hi Omega, I know what you mean, but there is another section, behind the spot where the photo was taken from that would have been appropriate for a large painting. They hung a 24x36 piece there, though and it looked fine, in fact it was a piece that sold. Alas, I took the spare home.

Hi Lesly, It is normal to be nervous once in awhile, you are right. Everything turned out fine though, as I thought it might.

Thanks Amber and James!

Shan, It is a wonderful gallery space-it has a distinct "city" feel to it.

Stacy, Thanks for mentioning my discussion of the anxieties involved. I have always thought it was just me going through all of this stuff until I had the chance to talk with other artists. So I wanted to return the favor and keep it out in the open.

Ok, Lisa, you just have to pay for shipping, oh yeah, and insurance and the cost of building a shipping crate!

Lisa Call said...

Colorado is lovely this time of year.

Just keep it in mind should you suddenly feel the urge for a road-trip style vacation. (I'm sure the painting will fit nicely tucked into the backseat.)

Congrats on the successful opening sounds like fun!