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Archive for February 27th, 2020

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“And I can’t be running back and fourth forever between grief and high delight.”

J.D. SalingerFranny and Zooey

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When I send a painting to a gallery it is with the expectation that it might very well sell.  As a result, I don’t usually announce or comment when a piece does actually go to a new home. I am usually very pleased when a sale of my work takes place. I mean, it’s my job and my livelihood plus the sale is a validation, in a way, that the work reached out beyond my own imagination and struck a chord with someone to the point that they chose to spend their hard earned money to obtain it.

What’s not to be happy about that?

But hearing that some paintings have been sold raises conflicting emotions. On one hand, I am thrilled to see the painting find a new home and to know that I can pay my bills for another month. That is a always a good thing.

But on the other hand, there are paintings that I see as being special, as being more significant to myself. Selling one of these paintings means that it is forever out of my hands, that it is no longer mine alone. Like a part of myself has been sheared off and sent away.

As a result, much like Salinger wrote above, I find myself running back and fourth between grief and high delight.

Such is the case with the painting at the top, Saints and Sinners. It’s a piece that I felt was personally among my best, one that was well beyond myself. I learned yesterday that it had sold and was very happy at first. Someone had seen that same special quality in it and was making it part of their life.

But after only a few moments, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach and a sense of loss came over me.

Even this morning, I am a little sad about it being gone forever.

Almost grief.

I say almost because, as grief goes, this is way down on the list of things that might cause one to grieve. For most people, especially non-artists, this sound ridiculous, I know.

So, let’s just call this artistic grief.

Don’t worry. I’m okay. I am not wearing black or tearing up this morning. I sold a painting, for chrissakes.

I am very happy about that but will still miss it, that’s all.

Okay, back to work. Maybe this next piece will be a worthy replacement.

Or better…

 

 

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