Tuesday, October 11, 2011

make every trip more enjoyable

We certainly might as well try. Today's little group of images: two painting/collages, Enjoyable Trip (3"x3") and Standard Fill-up (4"x4"), a photo of me on the job, which has been occupying most of my time lately, and of my booth at the art fair on the weekend.

I had a good day there. The weather was quite fine, they'd given me a plum spot, and I talked to a lot of people. Six hours of people. It was both tiring and stimulating, as that kind of thing always is, and that's why I do it. So I can find an ease with that level of near-constant interaction and not let it overwhelm me, but to get out of it what I need. Interesting & potentially fruitful connections, sales (of course), ideas and observations. In the different kinds of places where I've set up a table, I learn all sorts of things about people and how to talk to them. Or listen. Or get them to go away, sometimes, if they're being tiresome. Who do you want to drive away, and who do you want to entice back? I sold two framed watercolors, a bunch of prints, and some painted bottle-caps. One of the buyers has a house in Taos she'd rent cheaply to artists "with good energy." I beamed at her, "I have great energy! And you can see how inspired I was by my surroundings!" I'm sure I've got an "in" now. She was drawn in by a painting of a gas pump, it reminded her of something she'd seen out there. Many folks immediately recognized the New Mexico paintings just for their light and color, before I had mentioned the source of their inspiration, which was satisfying and made me feel I had captured something I'd hoped to. Then there are the men who pause dreamily and tell me about their cars or trucks.
Displaying my work at a table at a fair or in a park, in contrast with exhibiting it in a gallery, requires a real flexibility of mindset for me in observing and hearing how it is perceived by others. I sometimes find it difficult to shift my gears. There are positives and negatives to both means of 'getting the work out there' (as there are to the variety of other means I've explored). The way you market your work can definitely impact the way you think about making it.

Another note on energy. When I stack wood at a repeat customer's house I always remember when I was there last year and where my head was at. This happened the other day, a very specific memory came to mind, and I realized what I had managed to accomplish in the past year (personally, emotionally, artistically) and I felt happy with myself. I felt that I had climbed up out of something and found a clearer view. Fall is when a lot of people become more wistful and pensive, but since memory is elemental to my being, it feels like more of the same for me. Though maybe I'm getting a bit better at staying on top of it instead of losing myself to its grasp. I am interested too in seeing how this can affect my attraction to the things I paint and how I see them.

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