Storm Clouds, 2008, Oil on Gessobord, 4x4
My sales have slowed down considerably since June when my NYC gallery closed. In fact, September was the worst month I have had since I began exhibiting in 2004, with only one small painting selling from a gallery. Since June, two more galleries that represent me have closed and sales of my work are way down at all of the others. As I have said before, I do not take this personally, I know it's the economy. I am not established enough for my work to be viewed as an investment, and my prices are too high to be considered an impulse purchase.
I have mixed feeling about all of this. I can't say that I don't miss selling my work, I love the feeling that people like a painting of mine well enough to pay money for it and then live with it in their home or office. I really love that and it is a big part of the satisfaction I get from painting; that other people like what I do. Maybe that is politically incorrect to say if one is an artist, but I don't care.
So now, though, paintings aren't selling and I have some options (luckily I do have options because while my income is useful, our family is not completely dependent on it, thankfully:), most of which are a lot of fun. So despite feelings of unease about my "career" and where it's headed, I am also very thankful to have this time to reassess things. I am trying to develop new work, taking a much needed break from painting landscapes (I was edging close to burn out on those after painting so many, so fast, for years), yet I am able to go back to painting on a small format just for fun, and with a new vision of painting landscapes, all of which is very exciting. Although I haven't yet, I can do other things that interest me and that have been on the back burner for so long, such as drawing, collage, and working with encaustics. I am also taking my time in considering which galleries to
There are some drawbacks to this silver lining though, the main one being that I don't really have any deadlines. I don't handle self-imposed deadlines well, and without constraints, I have a tendency to flounder a bit, and I certainly have been doing that. But for now I am relatively disciplined and am managing to be fairly productive.
This is a worrisome time for all of us. I can easily get myself so freaked out about what may happen in the future that I become immobilized. However, I just try to do what I can today, and remind myself that things are ok today. And today I have things to do. There are always things to do, right?
PS. But don't think for a minute that we haven't hashed over a few alternative plans. After all, Doug's company does sell expensive and ultimately unnecessary items (fossils) and while they are still doing fine, there are no guarantees. We have had more than a few conversations about how we could farm our 22 acres full time, pay the mortgage and feed ourselves; all of which will certainly include less art making and way more shoveling shit. Heh.