Tilting, 2007, Oil on Panel, 8x10
Well, after the pride I expressed in my last post about how well things are going lately (and thanks so much to all of you who were so pleased for me about all of that), I was brought back down to earth this weekend. In a very gentle manner, at least.
Saturday morning I loaded up my car with 19 paintings and my daughter and began the five hour drive to Cape Cod to deliver work to the Salt Meadow Gallery there, and then a second delivery to The Harrison Gallery on Sunday on the way back home. Generally, if it's possible, I take one of the kids with me on my short trips, alternating each time. Thankfully, because this was a lot of driving, it was my quieter daughter's turn to come with. Now of course, I dearly love my youngest, but she NEVER stops talking and I confess to some irritation with that, most especially in the car. So this particular trip was rather quiet and harmonious. We listened to music, worked on some crossword puzzles (she did the reading and writing and um, got most of the answers), and we stopped and did some shopping at the mall in Albany on the way back on Sunday.
Anyway, we got to the gallery in Cape Cod on Saturday afternoon, no thanks to the seemingly incorrect mapquest directions and I spent some time visiting with Glenn, the owner. I had a solo show there last summer (read about it here) and will have another one this July. He has sold A LOT of my work over the last few years, however I have also given him many pieces and so we had finally agreed that I should take some work back this time. Of course this makes sense (I am the one who offered to take some back, conscious of possible storage space issues) and he had 12 paintings ready for me. My practical mind is fine with taking back work from a gallery that shows it, and I generally make the suggestion if it seems that sales have slowed or if it's been awhile since they have received new work. But I admit to still feeling a bit demoralized when a stack of paintings return to my studio.
So I try to look at it like this: it's a good reality check to learn, once again, that not everything I do is so fab that it immediately flies out the gallery door. I think my work really suffers when I fall into thinking how great I am. Not much to strive for when I start doing that, you know? So these reality breaks are good and will help me in the long run I think.
Now if that urge to cut off my ear would just go away. Heh.
PS. I should add here that personally, I do think that most of the returned paintings are pretty dang nice, which only proves how subjective art can be. A piece that I am proud of doesn't always translate to one that touches someone else. Or perhaps for a myriad of reasons and circumstances the painting doesn't find the person for whom it is meant for. These are things to remember too, especially when the ear cutting thing flares up.