Friday, May 9, 2008

The Flip Side

Thanks for the comments on the last post. Interesting perspectives all.

Here's the flip side of that coin:

How would Mr. or Mrs. John Q. Collector feel if they knew we artist's didn't always agonize over each and every brushstroke? Don't we artists make a big deal about our souls and our creative spirits and who ever else lives inside our studios with us? We moan about the lack of appreciation of our skills, the lack of understanding of our gentle spirits. We wax poetic about inspiration and artistic muses.

But admit it. Every now and then we get lucky. Every now and then while we're making a grocery list in the back of our minds and deciding on new wallpaper for the bathroom, a painting magically appears on the easel. It may not be cutting edge, but it's pretty good looking. Sign it and go start dinner.

In my last post I was in high dudgeon over a collector not respecting the art of collecting. Stockpiling was more like it I grumbled. But am I being respectful of the public when I sign and frame - and ask big money for - a painting that took less time to paint than the amount of time it took to wash out my brushes?

The blush is off the rose. Making a living as an artist involves a reality check. To be sure, being an artist is about the coolest thing on the planet. We get to dream and wonder and walk around with paint in our hair. But we also have to pay our bills, just like every other small business owner.

Painting or drawing or sculpting belongs within the realm of creativity. Selling belongs in the realm of commerce. There's no room for sissies in either place.

1 comment:

Karine said...

I believe it is the juxtaposition of the necessity of selling art (commerce) vs. the creative act that causes most artists angst. I find that I suffer from seperation anxiety with many of my paintings (usually the most successful ones) and I don't even want to sell them. Of course, I must.

Your blog is wonderful and thought provoking, Patricia.