Tuesday, July 8, 2008

. . . made some decisions

(maybe). I did spend some time down in the studio yesterday. I'm working on a triptych. . . mindless, simple, easy. . . just what I need right now. At this point it is a very simple geometric set of three that may expand to more. I will post it when all three are done. There's a lot of taping and drying time involved just to get the base coats down. When those are done, I think I may try to funk it up a bit, or not, I don't know yet. The picture above is of a bolt on a tank of some sort in the railroad yard in KCK. I love it, and all its permutations that I've been able to come up with in Picasa and Photoshop.
As to the decisions: If I tell you what they are, then I will feel like I really have to do them. And maybe they are ill-advised, I don't know. Do you ever go into your studio and look around at your "stock" and think "what the hell am I supposed to do with all of this?" I started painting because I wanted to. I didn't have any intention of selling anything. I knew my limitations. . . I knew I wasn't good at the marketing part of art. I could probably market someone else's art, but not my own. It's just not in me. I don't like to say "I can't do it." But this comes as close as anything to "I can't do it." I have always thought that I could learn to do just about anything, given enough instructions and education. Yeah, even like brain surgery, eventually.
Then there is the expense of the art supplies. I'm not sure I can justify the expense when I'm not selling anything. And I'm not selling anything because of one or a combination of the following: (a) my stuff sucks; (b) the economy sucks; (c) I'm not trying to sell anything. My husband's heart scare this weekend was an eye-opener. I know he's stressed because of (b) above; being in the car business isn't all that great right now, even when his cars are not the gas-guzzling SUVs. I think I could relieve some of that stress on him by (1) selling my art or (2) going back to work.
So I will try to market this art. For the rest of this summer, I will make every effort, make all the contacts, put myself out there, prepare for rejection, and go for it balls to the wall. I'm starting the process by writing this down for all the 10 or so people who regularly read this blog. If by the fall, say the end of September, nothing has popped, then I will look for a real job doing what I used to do. I was good at what I did, but I haven't done it for five or six years. I will have to start all over again. I have a hard time looking for jobs, too, but at least I know I'm qualified to do what I used to do. Hopefully the extra income (in either scenario) will be enough to alleviate some of my husband's stress, so I can keep him around a while longer. I want him to stick around to see his grandkids grow up. That's enough impetus for me to get myself out there.
I don't think I'll ever quit making art, even with a full-time job. It's become one of those things that I just have to do sometimes. Sometimes it's a chore, I'm uninspired, have other things that need to be done. But there's nothing like the feeling of being in the zone, everything working, loving every minute, solving the obstacles, trying new things, learning, growing, getting better every day.


it's just me....searching for hidden treasure said...

hang in there...right now is a stressful time for you and your husband...don't make any life changing decisions today...let it set for a few...btw, your work is inspiring to me, both your photography and your painting...delta

Into the Blystic said...

Hi Mary
I love your work!!! Marketing is my biggest weakness too, so I know exactly what you mean! but I think your work will do well with a little effort to get it out there and visible. Best of luck in your venture!
namaste Elis.

Laura said...

I've never left a comment on your blog before, but I am a faithful reader. I absolutely love your work...it so totally does NOT suck...as you wondered. Marketing is the hardest part for me, too...probably for alot of us creative types. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

Don't give up or make big dicisions when under this kind of pressure. Having survived a heart attack I know that this to shall pass. Keep making great art.

Mary Buek said...

Thank you all for the words of wisdom and support. I know that things have a way of working themselves out, and I'm sure something will happen to make everything much clearer soon. I really appreciate your comments about my art. Thanks so much.

Martha Marshall said...

Mary, as you know I'm just now making re-entry from a quickie vacation last week. Just reading this brings back memories of many, many times when I went through that passage, making different decisions depending on the circumstances.

The art was always there for me no matter what. I suspect yours will be too, but it's good to have a reason right now to decide to give it your all and see what happens. If you don't, you'll always wonder "what if."

Just remember two things:
1. your work is fabulous, and
2. there definitely is a market for it.

Mary Buek said...

Thank you, Martha -- for being such a great mentor by long distance.