When I started this journey, almost 5 years ago, I was so green! And naïve. I did not realize the work and disappointments ahead of me. I have learned so much over these 5 years and have grown so much.
At first I wanted to make money. Isn’t that usually the goal? I had made a good salary at the job I was laid off from, and was hoping to continue this with my art. I have become more realistic as time has passed, and it has become more about the art and getting it a good home. I will, and have, reduced my art at times if I know the person truly loves the art.
How I came to this conclusion is when one of my first paintings was sold, and shipped to California. Somehow FedEx did not scan my painting once the whole way across the US! I contacted them and they had no record of my painting! I was heartbroken. Not about the money I was going to lose, but that my painting was lost somewhere between Connecticut and California. Luckily, I knew the buyers address from the online gallery, and I wrote him a letter apologizing for the painting being lost. I gave him my email in the hopes he would contact me, and he did! He let me know that the painting had arrived safely and he would contact the online gallery so I would receive payment. That painting being misplaced made me realize how much I cared for the paintings that I create.
I am always nervous to tell people what my art costs. Some don’t blink an eye, and some right away tell me that the painting is not in their budget. Its so hard to compete with major box stores. I also enjoy seeing the at art in these stores. But honestly, they are killing artists. A lot of the time, I cannot even purchase a blank canvas for some of the prices of the art in these stores. But I do not want to get into cost in this blog, that’s a whole other subject!
So back to my paintings……You will notice that instead of saying a painting is sold, I say it is going home. Because that’s how I feel. That a piece of art that I have pondered over, painted and painstakingly packaged is now going to a home to make the recipients happy. And that’s a wonderful feeling. When sending art home, I place a certificate with the painting, explaining what inspired the art, and how to take care of it, and thanking the recipient for purchasing my art. Because I am grateful they did. Recently my cousin received a painting, and she said the certificate was like an additional gift. Which made me so happy and proud to hear!
I am generally a fast painter, and one of the bad things about that is that I accumulate a lot of paintings. This means I need storage for them. Most of you already know how handy my Dad is, and he has made me two awesome boxes that hold paintings in my cellar. One is for drying, and holds paintings waiting to be varnished, or varnished and waiting to dry. The other box is for finished art, and frames.
Sometimes I sand paintings down, and “gesso” over them. Which basically means, I brush white paint over them so I can reuse them. Sometimes I just cannot bring myself to do this, and at this time I will try to find the painting a home, or save it for a long time!
With the holiday season upon us, I have decided to give a painting away. There is a lady who has bought a ton of prints of this painting, for all her family. She has fond memories of her family in the house, and told me all about the tree that I painted and admired. No one else has shown an interest in this painting, and I know that the painting is out of her budget. Especially how she has bought everyone a print of it. So to me it was an obvious choice. Let the painting go to a home where it would be loved as I love it. And isn’t that what it is all about?