Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gallery in the Woods

I took this photograph standing outside the gallery where my artwork is going to be shown. You have to ignore the reflections on the glass window. I went there today to deliver all my pieces. This is a painting by Laurel Hausler, she is one of their star painters. I have to admit, the painting is very creative. Very fun and eye catching.

I let the gallery owner price my paintings. Pleasantly, I was shocked at the prices. Last night I looked at one painting, my biggest and best, and said to my husband, "I'd let them sell that for $900." Of course I would get half. The gallery owner priced that piece at $1,900. This price is probably fair to my talent and the amount of time I put into the painting. But it was a price far above the range we had discussed when they came to my apartment and saw my originals for the first time. At that time I had told the gallery owners that I didn't care about money, I only wanted to get rid of the paintings, and to sell them all very cheap. In time I came to regret the words that I said. They came from a place of fear and very low self esteem. As my paintings are an extension of myself, when I think myself worthless, I think my paintings worthless. I would go farther and say that when I want to hurt myself I want to destroy the paintings. But my mind is not always so twisted. There is time when I look at what other artists have done, and I really feel I have earned a place standing next to them.

When my artwork was actually in their gallery the owners forgot about our prior pricing discussion. I did not remind them of it. Some of the works will sell at almost double what I had imagined they would. The owners seemed very excited about the show. The husband, Dante, pointed out to me one artist whose black and white drawings had magical appeal. He said that although the two that were hanging were very good, she had disappointed them in the past, they had a show were her works were not very good. Implied was the observation that some artists are uneven in their talent, and that when they book an artist for a show they can be disappointed. I was to understand, by his comment, that I had not disappointed Dante.

When I was driving to the gallery I prayed to God to let me get through the social exchange and delivery with my sanity intact. I don't know what I feared. Yes I do. I feared that my works were so bad that the gallery owners wouldn't want to sell them for very much. I prayed and then I got something big today that is worth more than money to me. I got confidence. I got faith, from the gallery owners, that my paintings are worth people paying good sums of money for. Naturally not one painting may sell. These are poor economic times and buying an expensive painting is a luxury. Do people go shopping much in January? I would like to make money, but in a real sense, I don't care if I make any money. It is the paintings that matter. Are they good? If I believe that what I'm doing is worthwhile, making paintings, then it is a little bit easier to choose life and shun death.

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