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Archive for April 2nd, 2018

I was looking for something this morning and came across the above quote from Andrew Wyeth which really rang true for me.

I am in the midst of working feverishly towards my June 1 show at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria. my 19th solo show there. I’ve done over 50 solo exhibitions over the years so you would think that I would be over any uneasiness that comes with showing my work. But I still get that terrible queasy feeling in my gut whenever I first see each show hanging. It really is a feeling much like Wyeth describes, like standing there with no clothes on.

The worst of these feelings came at my first show at the Principle Gallery back in 2000. It was called Red Tree, which was the real introduction of the that signature tree that populates much of my work. I had only been working as a full-time artist for two years and had only two small solo shows at regional art centers under my belt at that point, so I had no expectations for such a show. But I had developed a solid base of collectors at the Principle since I began showing there in early 1997 and they felt I might do well with a show.

I understood at the time that this was a wonderful opportunity and put a lot of pressure on myself to put everything I could into that show. The rustic studio that was my home for the first ten years that I worked as an artist was much smaller than my current studio so when the show was done every space in it was filled with new work. I couldn’t get a real idea of how the show might look together, especially since this was pre-digital for me, all my work documented in slides rather than JPEGs.

I felt good about the work but maybe I was just being delusional. It happens.

So on the day of the opening we first walked into the gallery several hours before the reception and the then burnt orange walls of the gallery were filled with these paintings. There was a dizzying vibration to it that gave Cheri and I both an overwhelming feeling of nausea. It was like the inner self that I tried to keep hidden from the world was suddenly splashed through the gallery and I was trapped there amidst it, like someone standing naked in a dream with no way to escape and nothing with which to cover up.

Thankfully, that night exceeded all my expectations. If it had not, I don’t know that I might even be writing this blog now or where I would be in my career. If it had not done well, that horrible feeling would surely have stayed with me forever. As it is, it still visits me with every show but to a lesser degree and for shorter time span.

I suppose you get used to public nudity after a time.

 

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