Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Persistence...I haz it!

I broke what seemed like a tremendous losing streak yesterday.

You see, I finished a HUGE painting.


It was the first painting I had finished in a week and a half of solid work. You can see it here, outside in my driveway, where I photographed it to get the best natural light. And you can also see my neighbor's cat, Princess, trying to decide whether she likes it or not.

(Verdict: since she did NOT try to pee on it, I assume that she likes it, but Princess has ulterior motives. She seems to want to suck up to me, take over my house and evict my OWN cats. So I'm not sure her judgement is totally based on the painting’s merits.)

It's called "Shown actual size," because the Great Dane I painted WAS actually about that size. And it IS for sale! But I should warn you--you need a pretty good-sized wall to carry something of that size and...ooomph!

So I LOVE this painting, but after the previous week, to be honest with you, I would have been happy to finish ANYTHING. I had been working like crazy and it seemed like NOTHING was getting done.

First of all, I’d thought I’d finished a commissioned painting, but the client wanted a little more work. Which is fine, but…you know how you feel when you THOUGHT you’d finished something and you STILL have to do it again? Perhaps going back all those many miles back to the drawing board?

That was the way I felt!

Then I had this experience where most people seemed TOTALLY OBLIVIOUS to my art. While approval is not THAT important to me, it’s kind of sobering when there’s almost a total lack of acknowledgement that there’s even anything on the WALL.

Here’s how it happened. I put six pieces into a gallery show for a First Friday Artwalk on Santa Fe Drive (YES--it is HERE in Denver and NOT in Santa Fe itself, although I can see how you could make that mistake). It was a last-minute decision, and I was not anticipating selling anything because I had worked other First Fridays and had a realistic sense of the crowds (In case you are wondering, the people who live in the neighborhood call First Fridays "Drunk Fridays").

To demonstrate, most of the gallery-goers look like they are about middle-school age, and seem mainly interested in the availability of free alcohol. But it was a chance to get my work out beyond Facebook and Paint Club and my horrendously out-of-date website. So...I was in.

I think I wrote about zombie apocalypse nightmares a week or so back.


At least in your zombie apocalypse nightmares, the zombies PAY ATTENTION TO YOU. Sure, they have ulterior motives (e.g., brains, entrails), but at least they know you exist. A few high-functioning ones might even notice your art.

This was NOT the case, by and large, with the Drunk Friday crowd. They'd come in, check out the refreshment table, register that there was no wine, and then they'd ricochet briefly around the room and leave. And if you tried to talk to them, SOME of them would respond, but a BUNCH wanted NO interaction at all.

Honestly, I know HAMSTERS with longer attention spans and better social skills than some of these people. Definitely a number of puppies. And a few cats (but not very many—the attention spans are better, but the social skills…not so much).

I think the First Friday crowd would have been happier and more comfortable if THEY HAD JUST RENTED A DVD AND STAYED HOME. At least then they wouldn’t have to bother getting dressed or sucking in their stomachs or talking to strangers or pretending to care about...whatever they might pretend to care about.

On the upside, despite all the time I spent getting things framed and hanging the show, I just KEPT PAINTING. I kind of felt like Sisyphus with that damn rock sometimes, especially since I didn’t finish anything. But this week—voila—one of those huge monsters I’ve been working on is finished! And I finished ANOTHER painting last night, with substantial progress on two more!

At least Princess notices. And she approves.


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