Archive for July 1st, 2021

Cool and Composed

9921089 Cool and Composed sm

Cool and Composed– Part of my West End Gallery show-Opening July 16, 2021

The new painting above is included in my new solo show at the West End Gallery, opening in just over two weeks, on July 16. It’s the first piece from the show that I am showing and I thought I would use this particular painting because of its title, Cool and Composed.

Something to which I aspire.

You might think I am referring to the heat wave that has struck much of the nation. Yikes! It has been ungodly hot. But while I do often yearn for colder temps and a bit of snow, it is a different kind of heat that has me on edge.

As I mentioned yesterday, I am scheduled for an appearance on a local morning show, on our NBC affiliate WETM between 6 and 7 AM tomorrow. And it has me nervous.

Now, I have a lot of experience speaking in front of people about my work. I’ve done thirty or forty gallery talks and other speaking engagements and have been interviewed a few times on camera.

And I am always anxious. But this time even more so. With the pandemic and events of the past year and a half which restricted so many interactions, I am very much out of practice in talking with anyone about anything. Even now, I feel the urge to prattle on, vomiting out a word salad that never quite expresses what I want to say.

I’ll spare you that, as much as I can.

You might ask why I would do such a thing if it bothers me so much. That’s a good question.

For me, I don’t think it’s ego. I will no doubt watch the tape afterwards and cringe and agonize over every moment, feeling revulsion at my every word and movement. I take absolutely no pleasure in seeing or hearing myself.

No, I do it simply because promoting my work is an important part of being a self-sustaining artist. I wish it weren’t but that is just the way it is. I wish the work spoke for itself and would miraculously sweep the nation without the need for a single word from myself or any advocates I might have for my work, such as galleries, museum folks, or collectors.

But it doesn’t work that way for any artist.

The work needs to grow in an organic manner, with continued exposure and talk about it. Like throwing a handful of pebbles into a pond where the ripples move out and join together in ever-expanding rings.

It doesn’t sound like fun. It can also be exhausting, this constant drumbeat one has to produce. Especially when you put it on top of the effort required in creating a body of work that you feel is worthy of being promoted.

But, as an artist, I want my work to be seen. Its purpose is to be seen, to have an effect beyond myself. And to do so it must be tossed out into the world much like my pebbles into the pond. It has to be allowed to make ripples, even tiny ones.

And if that means I have to be uncomfortable for an hour, if I have to feel nauseous and self-loathing afterwards and wanting a shower, so be it.

I think my work deserves it. And if I don’t do it, who will?

So, if you’re up tomorrow morning between 6 and 7, take a look at WETM. I hope to appear as cool and composed as the painting at the top.

All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.

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