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Archive for July 24th, 2009

Song of Self    Well, another show day has come around.  Tonight’s opening is at the West End Gallery in Corning,  kind of my home gallery.  It’s in my home area and was the first gallery to show my work so there’s a certain sentimental attachment.  You always want to do well on your home field.  

Normally, this creates a certain tension, some nervousness.  But as I wrote about my earlier show this year, I’ve tried to shake off these jitters.  If I’ve done the work and feel I’ve done my utmost then there’s nothing to be worried about.  How folks react is beyond my control and to feel stress over it is a waste of energy.  Besides, I do feel that this is a very strong group of work.  

That being said, there’s still a little anxiety, mainly over just having to talk about my work.  I try to remind myself to not overtalk, something I tend to do when I’m nervous.  I babble on a little more than I should, sometimes speaking but saying little just to fill the pauses in the conversation.  I try to remind myself to listen more.  Like any situation, my openings always go best when I let the natural pauses occur and just listen to what the people are saying to me.  It’s a lesson I learned in sales many years ago.  If you just listen, the person you’re dealing with will tell you what is important to them.  And knowing this makes your conversation all that much better.  For instance, if a person reveals that their attraction to your work is because of the emotional impact, they may not want to hear the technical details of how a piece was painted.  They probably want to know more of the intent behind the painting and how I view the piece.  

Knowing how to speak to people’s differing needs is an important part of  the opening and sometimes I do it well and sometimes I miss my mark.  So, today I keep reminding myself to listen and give each person who wants to talk my full attention.  If they make the effort to come out to my show, then that is the least they deserve.

The piece above is Song of Self and is part of tonight’s show.  It’s a very simple composition, one that I’ve done in a few versions over the years.  It’s meant to be a piece where the the quiet of the scene is highlighted by its contrast to the texture and color in the painting itself.  The sky in this piece has great texture and brings a deeper visual interest to areas of the painting that may not immediately register when the piece is first seen.  I like this piece a lot.

You can see this painting tonight at the West End Gallery in Corning, NY.  The opening for this show, Dispatches, starts at 5 PM and runs to 7:30.  If you want to talk stop in and I will listen…

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