Sunday, November 15, 2020

Parting with Art

Snow and Rocks II - 9x12 oil - Available
One my favorites I'll have a hard time parting with.

Do you have a hard time parting with the paintings you've made?  I do, especially if they are recent ones.  But many times, I feel the same about the old ones.  As much as I appreciate the money, my heart drops a little when an order comes in.

Each painting contains a bit of the magic that happens when I'm working.  For a plein air painting, it's a distillation of the moment:  the wine cellar fragrance of the ponderosa pines; the solitary call of the canyon wren; the soft carpet of last year's oak leaves beneath my boots.  For a studio painting, it's a crystallization:  the pressure of thought and emotion and memory, working against sometimes intractable material, with the molecules suddenly snapping into alignment, creating a new thing of beauty.

How can I part with one?  The painting may hang on the wall, sit on a shelf or collect dust in a box, but it still possesses the magic.  Even a small piece, squeezed into a plastic file crate with a hundred others and stored in a closet.  When I go hunting for the one that has sold, it's not just that one that sparkles with magic—they all sparkle.

It takes awhile for me to truly be ready to wrap up a painting and ship it off.  I need time with my paintings, even after they are done.  I want to savor them to the fullest.

Don't get me wrong—I am grateful for my collectors.  And I am also grateful that they understand me when I say parting is hard.


Stephanie Berry said...

If I feel very attached to one of my paintings I just don’t put it “out there”. A few paintings fit so well in our house that those stay unavailable. But it’s great to sell any of them so I try not to be too attached. It does pose a dilemma.

Jo Castillo said...

This made me smile. There are some paintings I’ve done that I don’t recognize when I see them. My sister-in-law has one that I don’t even remember painting. Sigh… But it was 40 years ago. Ha. Each painting has a magic as you say and bring back special memories of the spot where it is painted. Good thoughts, thanks.