I wonder what it would be like to watch others through a one way mirror as they peruse your artwork at a show, rather than sitting awkwardly by in full view??  Before I started doing shows, whenever I went to an art fair, I would have empathy for the artists sitting there watching everyone look at their stuff.  I’m sure they were hopeful that a sale might be imminent, and also somewhat uncertain if the people moved on uninspired and uninterested.  I always tried to at least give everyone’s booth a ‘respectful’ amount of looking time, for I didn’t want to offend or hurt anyone’s feelings.

But that’s me and my sensitive self.  I’m sure I projected how I would have felt as that artist, and now that I am that artist, it *is* hard to sit there and watch people look over little bits of your soul/personality/talent and either find it worth a look or a comment, or the opposite, which is utter lack of interest.

Obviously, my work will not appeal to everyone.  Not even most people, probably…  I don’t think I’m so thin skinned that I can’t understand this aspect of selling art, yet it is such a weird thing to do, really…these art shows.  You just splay yourself out there for critiques.  You offer up images of what it’s like to be you, living inside your head and heart, and others either like it or not.  And, if you sit there allowing this assessment to go on for hours upon end, it feels in the end much like having run a gauntlet.  I was bone tired yesterday after the weekend’s show, and yes, it was partly the heat, but it was also because I was trying all the time to be ‘fine’ with the ongoing ‘valuing’ of me via my art.

Just so you know, I realize I may be the most sensitive and overly analytical of souls on the planet…

Then, of course, there are those that pass by and find something of value on your table and it feels good to think that one of my cat cards might be sent to a friend of the person who bought it, and it might bring a smile to a person I don’t even know.  That’s the best part, truly.  Bringing enjoyment…

One young woman told me yesterday that when she looked at the face quilt hanging above my table, it made her “feel warm inside”.  I was touched and honored that an image I had produced could elicit such a feeling.

I guess it’s all relative…

I’m still going to make my art and try and get it ‘out there’ somehow, I’m just not so sure that art shows are that much fun…

Sad faces…

June 29, 2010

Whether I intend to or not, a lot of my face drawings/paintings or the like, end up looking sad.  I’m not sure why, for often times, I am anything but sad whilst drawing.

When I was back in art school, I painted a series of faces.  They just came out of nowhere, so I painted them onto canvas.  I had a critique of this ‘assignment’ with my painting instructor, Papa Tutt, and I remember him looking at them, and then back at me, and then again back at the faces.

He said, “I know you and your family and where you are from, and you don’t have any reason to know this kind of sadness”.  I’m probably paraphrasing, yet his message was clear:  I didn’t have the right or the knowledge to paint of such sadness.

Well, he was wrong, and that’s ok.  I don’t see whatever sadness I have felt in my life as a “right”…just a fact.  I have experienced some, as many people have, and I know it when I see it and when I feel it…

In my mind’s eye, I see a row of women’s faces lined up, waiting to be drawn.  I’m not sure I know all of these women, nor do I believe they are all me.  I just feel a commitment in giving these images some space in this world.

Perhaps when I draw these women…be they sad or not…I am releasing that emotion from a locked place.  Perhaps I draw it out of the shadows and into the light.  Perhaps every time I draw a sad face, I lighten someone’s load by drawing the sadness out of their realm.  Maybe at times that person is me…

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