Three Years…

It’s November 12, 2015.

It’s November 12th and I have an exhibition starting next week, the 19th, AND a reception as featured artist 2 weeks after that, Dec. 4th.

Three years ago I would not have guessed this was coming.

Who would have thought I’d be sending close to 30 paintings to grace the walls of a Country Club, then turn around and pack up 20 more for another show?

Hard to believe I’ve painted that many and they aren’t laying in a pile in the basement, stacked against the back wall of a closet.

Au contraire!

They are currently looking beautiful around the homestead. We will miss seeing them when blank walls are staring callously back at us. 

Three years ago, this “professional artist” thing was not even on my radar. 

My husband and I had been married a year when he asked if I’d ever really tried to work on my art, seeing how it was where I turned when there are gifts to give or holidays approaching. It’s even (sort of) a joke around my family, they all hope I draw their name for our tradition of homemade Pollyanna’s. They are quick to give suggestions as to what may be a well loved gift.

Hubby saw what I could do and wondered if my work would be as appreciated by outsiders.

He is the one who came up with the idea in early January 2013:

Try it.

See what happens.

Give it three years, he reasoned, that would be enough time “to tell”.

The three years have been very telling, indeed. We are about 6 weeks away from the culmination of that three year time frame.

I had joined an online artist’s group to share my work, ask questions, get pointers. Many videos of techniques were watched, so many that I’ve seen most twice (twice is nice) and discovered artists that I enjoy watching. 

Watercolor, oil, acrylics, mixed media, sculpting…it doesn’t matter the medium, so long as something new is learned. Often, when you turn to a new, unfamiliar topic, you will learn something you hadn’t known of before. For this endeavor, much of it has proven useful.

I played, practiced, dripped, spilled, and painted what came to mind.

January 6th I posted my first painting to the artist site.

Well, Who's making coffee 002

Well, Who’s Making the Coffee? 8 x 10″ acrylic on canvas.

I have to admit, I was thrilled with how it turned out. I was hooked on canvas, now that I could find ways to improve myself.

This isn’t the first time I’ve painted (as mentioned earlier). My husband had heard the stories of all the walls I’d muraled. He knew I’d wake up to go paint something from a sound sleep (it hadn’t been anything I could sell, though). Small gifts and boxes, “craft show” was about as far as I thought I’d ever get until his grand idea surfaced. I’d spent time making money as a proffessional because a “real job” is a necessity…or is it?

In May I did my first art show. A painting sold- “DragonFly-By” 8x 10″, acrylic on canvas.

dragonfly April 9 2013 007

That same day, I was approached by my first gallery.

The three year idea was a good one. I tried different galleries and learned things I never knew I needed to know.

I tried the paint-party thing.

Turns out I’m not a partier. I hated it.

Really.

It consumed all my time and very few pieces of “my own” had gotten done. 

It was a question from my accountant, of all people, “What do you want to do with it?”

He was talking about my (then) studio and my inial thought was Close it! 

That made me realize, then and there, I needed to not be teaching art, just creating is enough. It’s more than many gifted people ever get the opportunity to do. 

Two of the galleries I’d been in were the “pay to be here” type of gallery, you pay for your space (plus a small percentage of sales) and hope they do what they promised as far as advertizing and getting word out.

Keep fingers crossed that something sells.

No level of experience or talent was required to belong to these places, just give them your business and if you spend enough money there, you can spend a little more and they’ll hang your work. Right next to a proffesional artist who actually did the required work to earn a spot on anyone’s wall. 

Both places wanted “kitch” from me so they had “things to sell”.

…um… . . . paintings?

In the eyes of the gallorists, a painting was not something the townsfolk would spend hundreds of dollars for but a $20 knick-knack would easily find a happy buyer. 

….I’d sold more than a few paintings on my own than these galleries did in the time they held my work.

Truely disappointing waste of resources.

The first place closed, I left the second, concluding that I’d rather be with a gallery that was hungry for sales and willing to work for them.

 

Now, meeting my three year target, my priorities are clear. Where I want to go and what I want to do with my art is much easier to decipher now that some experience has been gained.

The next three years will have a new story to tell.

That’s pretty exciting. 

To my Hubby, as always, my Love, I thank you.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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