Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Still Love Getting the Mail!

Deep Trees, 2007, Oil on Panel, 16x20

The Saturday snail mail delivery by Jim the mailman (who is also our neighbor and doubles as the guy who brush hogs our land each fall), brought me two lovely and much needed surprises. Doug has been out of town for weeks at a time over the last few months and we were nearing the end of another week long stretch. And so I was going a bit mental. Not from the kids so much (ok, well maybe a little) but from having to do everything, everyday, most especially cooking and cleaning up after dinner each night. The kids help, but, well, they don't really, know what I mean? And I was incredibly tired after having stayed up until 2am to watch The Good Shepherd (got a late start on that because I had to go pick up my daughter from a birthday party at 9pm Friday evening). Then Saturday morning there was soccer practice and another birthday party, a few manufactured preteen dramas as well as feelings of guilt over not going outside to do some yard work in order to take advantage of the stunning weather. And why oh why must I actually feel ill the day after having only a few hours sleep? I used to be able to do all nighters with ease and now if a miss an hour or two of sleep I become the worst crabby patty* ever.


Folded into the usual bills, junk mail and endless credit card solicitations were two hand addressed envelopes. Very rare these days! The first one contained an acceptance letter for a juried regional show in my favorite place ever, Woodstock, NY. I have stopped entering competitions for the most part, but I make exceptions for ones that have some meaning for me and whose organizations I like to help support. I entered this same show last year and had some luck getting in and winning an award, a gift certificate for a actual art supply store for $100. Which I used to buy four, yes, only four tubes of paint. Ones that I never would have splurged on otherwise. Since I love, love, love Woodstock and the Woodstock School of Art, I am very pleased to be included again this year, as well as having an excuse to drive down and spend a day there when delivering the painting.

The next piece of mail was a check along with an encouraging note from my New York gallery (that has such a nice ring to it), Multiple Impressions. They have sold a number of paintings now and I am feeling good about my possible status there. Of course, now they want more pieces, large ones of course (because they are the most difficult for me to do), so bright and early Sunday morning I found myself priming two 36x48 panels.

Days like that make me very happy that mail has not become entirely obsolete yet.

*Gratuitous SpongeBob Square Pants reference.


Melody said...

Hey nice to get great news in the mail rather than just bills. Congrats!!!
Love your work

meno said...

The request for larger pictures makes me ask this question.

When you do a larger panel, do you do the same composition as a smaller panel, only on a larger scale, or do you compose a different scene, with more stuff in it?

Stuff being a technical term.

James Wolanin said...

I make my way up to Woodstock every summer. Me and my girlfriend love camping there.

What did you think of The Good Shepherd? I haven't seen it yet, but was thinking about renting it.

36 x 48 - Perfect size!

Tracy Helgeson said...

Melody, I agree, much better than the rest of the nasty stuff that usually comes in the mailbox. And somehow more satisfying than an email, although those are nice too:)

Meno, good question. Thus far, and I am only gradually working my way up to the larger sizes, I use a similar composition as in a smaller piece. And while I don't really add more stuff (technical term) composition wise, I do have the opportunity to add a bit more detail, like windows or whatever. Does that make any sense?:)

Jim, I remember you writing about camping in Woodstock last summer. Ha, it's like we're old friends already..

The Good Shepherd was pretty good, but a little dry and I had trouble following it a bit. But the performances were incredible and I did like it. I suggest watching it when you are not tired though, it is perfect to drift off to.

36x48? That's like a mural to me! I much prefer my little 8x10's.

Chris Rywalt said...

I'm trying to imagine getting a check from a gallery in the mail. I'm imagining it feels really, really good.

I'm so happy for you. Why are you the most successful artist I've met so far? What's your secret? Next time I see you I'm going to rub your hands for good luck.

Tracy Helgeson said...

Thanks, Chris. No secret, just work, work, work. And painting landscapes seems to help. (Almost) everyone likes a landscape of some type or another.

And it sure is very exciting to get a check in the mail. The kids are into it too, usually letting me know if there is an envelope from one of the galleries or informing me that there are no checks today.

This is all still new enough for me that I still get goose bumps when a payment comes in.

Anonymous said...

Tracy, your work is soft and dreamlike. Congratulations on those surprises in the mail. Yes, it IS nice to tear into an envelope and find something besides bills. It sounds like your art is grabbing a few heartstrings out there. Must be a nice feeling.

Lynnea said...

I always get so excited when something comes hand addressed - its got to be good. Congratulations on the mail!

Now I'm going to continue the questioning: why do they want larger ones? Are they easier to sell? More impressive?

Will you be showing us photos of the larger ones you do?

Tracy Helgeson said...

Maggie, yes, hand written envelopes are almost always good news!

In this case the gallery prefers to hang larger pieces because of their space. It is not a huge space and doesn't even have particularly high ceilings but for some reason, anything smaller than about 18x24 just disappears on their walls. So they want larger pieces.

And yes, if the pieces turn out:) I will post the images. I normally put up work as I finish it, so they will just be added to the queue.

Tracy Helgeson said...

Thanks, Photo Buffet, I love to hear soft and dreamlike. And I hope that my work connect with at least a few of the folks that come across it.

gary rith said...


Stacey Peterson said...

Congrats on the good news - we all knew your paintings were going to be a success in NYC!

I'm still bummed, btw, that I spent a morning walking around SoHo without the gallery name in hand, looking for your paintings, and never found them due to being interrupted by a hungry baby... Someday I'll see them in person...

Tracy Helgeson said...

Stacy, I love when you say success! Unfortunately it is a stretch of the imagination a few sales that, but go ahead anyway:)

And I am very flattered that you tried to find the gallery. Those babies are pretty good at throwing a wrench in the works however!