Archive for August 11th, 2012

   Yesterday, I  delivered the group of paintings for my show, which opens next week,  to the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown.  It felt pretty good to finally have the work out of the studio and in place for this show which I have been anticipating for so long.  Relief set in on the drive home  and soon turned to fatigue.  I had a chance to think and began to consider all of the things that one has to do in order to pursue a career such as mine, all of the seldom thought of aspects that are necessities but have little to do with the actual act of painting.  Things like dealing with galleries, framing and matting, packaging, delivery, pricing and the endless promotion of the work.  The gritty unromantic details that take a toll on one’s energy.   Basically, the same things any small business owner has to face.

It’s like someone who has a gift for cooking, making glorious food in their kitchen with great ease.  They dream of opening a restaurant where they can share their gift with the world and make a living doing what they love most.  But once they open the doors they find that the act of cooking, their great pleasure, is only one aspect of being a restaurateur.  They find themselves buried in heap of things far from their love of cooking.  They must deal with staff, advertising and promotion, dealing with suppliers and a thousand other details.  They find themselves fatigued like they never felt before from their cooking.

That’s kind of how I felt yesterday.  I was fatigued from all of the detail work– the driving, packing and shipping, framing paintings, the talking about and  promotion of my work and events.  Even writing this blog.  They were all things that, while necessary, were far from  the creation of the work itself.  Actually, I never felt real fatigue from the act of painting.  In fact, quite the opposite.  For me, painting is invigorating, energizing.  So much so that it makes these other tiring details tolerable, especially if it  means that I can do what I love as my livelihood.

I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m complaining.  I am definitely not.  Every job, every career, is tough in it’s own way and I have done enough other things in my life to know that  this is, by far, the sweetest gig I have encountered.  The many positives of my job far outweigh the negatives.  It’s just that occasionally when I am away from painting for too long, I get a little tired and stressed, feeling that need for the rejuvenation that painting offers for me.

Probably like that onetime cook-turned-restaurateur who, standing in the midst of a busy dining room,  longs to be in front of  a stove, simply cooking and happy.

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