Archive for July 21st, 2011

Changing Perspective

Yesterday, I wrote about paintings that are returned from a gallery and how my view of them has changed over the years.  In the comments, Clint, a staff member at the Principle Gallery (and a great guy ), wrote about he is often surprised by certain pieces that don’t sell at a show, pieces that seem to really strike a lot of people.  I, too, think it’s interesting to see what paintings don’t find a home despite much interest.

Sometimes it’s  just a matter of size when the painting starts to take on larger dimensions, such as paintings that are 30″ by40″ or larger.  The size naturally eliminates many collectors who simply don’t have the space.  The size also means that the pieces are more expensive which is also limiting.

But sometimes it’s not size or price.  Sometimes, like with the painting above, Defining Moment, it’s just not the right time or place.  It’s still a surprise although not as much as earlier in my career.  Then, I seemed to be able to tell when a painting was finished if it would leave the gallery quickly and was generally correct.   I could often tell that a painting would go quickly, often within hours of hitting the gallery.  But over the years I have seen this ability diminished and the paintings that I think will go quickly now seem to be the ones that linger, that don’t leap off the wall into the arms of a new owner.

I don’t know what has changed but think it may be that my eye has changed over this time.   Early on, I wasn’t far removed from my days where I worked at other jobs where I was serving and reading other people on a daily basis.  My eye was used to looking at things from someone else’s vantage point, a useful quality in any job where you are trying to satisfy other people, and I really think this allowed me to see my early work as others might.

  But over the years I have become more isolated in my studio, less attuned to reading other people.   My perspective now is only what I see in the piece, not what other’s eyes might see.  I suppose this is as it should be.  But it was pretty exciting when I felt like I was looking through other eyes and the work felt like it was someone else’s.  Now I solely judge a painting by what it does for me, knowing that it is my work.  Sometimes those pieces which most excite me take a bit longer to find someone whose reading of it matches mine.   

But they usually do find a like mind.  This I’ve learned.  So, even though they may not find a home quickly, I am patient in knowing they will eventually.


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