Thursday, May 14, 2009

. . . refused to quit




although sometimes it seems the odds are stacked against me. I have been painting, as evidenced by the photos on this post. Above is part pf one I have been working on lately. . . and below is one that I have completed and stretched (poorly, but temporarily.) These are not as textured as some of my previous paintings. I have been dumping, splattering, playing with paint and colors more than textures.





I received a rather hopeless call from my art rep. Poor guy, hasn't sold much of anything, he tells me. The gallery on the Plaza is closing down at the end of June and the art auction guy is giving me back seven paintings and the rest he wants to stretch and frame because they just don't present well flat and unstretched. I realized that when I saw them at the first auction, which is part of why I have started to stretch my paintings now. Besides, I can hang them around the house if no one else wants them.


I know the economy sucks. I know people are not spending money, especially on items that won't feed or shelter their families. I know that even people who have jobs and money to spare are scared that could just be a temporary situation. But sometimes I think that maybe my art sucks more than the economy. Not naturally being an optimist, it surprises me that my inclination now is to view the situation as a benefit: I will use this time as learning, experimenting, getting better, without having any pressure to sell anything. I keep thinking something good is bound to happen sooner or later. . .

19 comments:

~Babs said...

Mary, I love the attitude of the last paragraph you've written!
It says so much about a painter's life, and the endurance of spirit!

I can't BEGIN to tell you how much I adore this second piece,,so much in that design that really knocks me out!
Never quit,,no,,,'twould be a sin!

Elis Cooke said...

I am taking a similar view of things-- good time for playing, learning, building skills and making art I like. Stretching isn't so bad once you get the hang of it-- but definitely found it a challenge at first. I found a staple gun with a battery pack makes a HUGE difference. These pieces are stunning-- I look forward to seeing how they develop!

Miki Willa said...

Mary, these are amazing. Your art is wonderful and inspiring. I would be proud to have half your talent. Don't give up. Things will get better.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

I like the look of this work Mary. Giving yourself time to experiement sounds like a gift to yourself. I’m feeling the itch to get painting again myself.

Jazz said...

Your paintings do NOT suck. Never ever think that.

Jeane said...

Mary, I love these two paintings - they feel very alive

n2theblue said...

i realllly like the second one.

no, we've made the painful discovery that people are NOT spending on things that won't feed or shelter their families. unfortunately, my husband paints to feed and shelter his family, and educate them, and....

Regina said...

Mary,
I think your art is beautiful. I love your attitude that you will take this time to work on your art without the pressure of sales. It is so freeing to turn off that critical voice.

self taught artist said...

mary, these two works are some of the most exciting paintings i've seen in awhile.
yeah it sucks out there...i haven't sold a thing...everyone keeps saying they want to buy something but then they don't. what can you, just keep doing the work only if it feels good.
i really do like these pieces...if thats worth anything :)

Mary Buek said...

Babs, thank you for your lovely comment. I may be hiding my head in the sand, but I'm pretty comfortable there for the time being.

Elis: I have found that I don't mind stretching the canvases at all, and like I said, I get to put them around the house and show them off that way. Thanks for the compliment. The battery power stapler would be a real help.

Miki, thank you for the boost and the compliments. I appreciate your saying these things more than you can possibly know.

Leslie: Oh, yes, a gift. I hope I can continue this optimistic attitude. And I wait impatiently to see more of your painting. . .

Jazz, my friend, thank you. That inner critic is always fighting to be heard, you know.

Jeane: I think these last two paintings are much more calm than some of the earlier ones. Maybe that reflects my attitude these days. I'm back to wanting to paint.

Hi, Blue: I know what you mean. . . I'm depleting all savings in order to keep doing what I love. But at least I'm not responsible monetarily for anyone else. My heart goes out to you and your husband and family. I hope things turn around sooner than later.

Regina: I am hoping to venture into other types of art, just enjoy myself while I can. Thanks so much for your comment.

Hi, Self: I love your work, so yeah, your comment means a lot to me. I guess potential buyers are scared, but guess what? I am too. Aren't we all? And, yes, it still feels good. Right?

Marie said...

I've asked myself the question: If I knew that I would never sell another piece, would I keep doing art? The answer is a resounding yes. Still there is always that part of me that wants my work "out there", to find a good home, to be appreciated and seen. Rejection for whatever reason is never easy.
Your two pieces have a vitality and depth to them. "Whatever dose not kill us makes us stronger.'

rivergardenstudio said...

I love your paintings... just keep painting from your heart and experiment and grow... Roxanne

Gina said...

Let me add my voice to the others, Mary--your new works are great--beautiful colors and imaginative composition! I’m sorry your paintings aren’t selling right now but I’m so in awe of all the ones you’ve already sold (I have yet to sell any). The economy is bad right now, not your ART. Giving yourself permission to experiment is very wise. Things will get better.

Zappha said...

Your work displayed here is wonderful. You have a good grasp on what constitutes a good abstract painting.

Mary Buek said...

Thank you, Roxanne. You can't know how I appreciate your comments.

Gina: Thank you, too. Your sense of experimentation and willingness to try something new is inspiring to me.

Zappha: Indeed high praise from an accomplished artist. Thank you for the words of encouragement.

Seth said...

These two paintings are really fantastic! Love the style of them both.

Kim Hambric said...

It's such a big boat, and so many artists are in it.

The economy cannot keep an artist from working. It can only slow down or stop us from selling. The work is as good as it was before. I like your idea of continuing to explore -- to make the most of this downtime.

nancy neva gagliano said...

these two paintings are amazing, only wish i could SEE them for REAL.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Mary Buenger,
I knew you (not well) out there in the dingweeds of Kansas, forty years ago. Didn't much like you.
I don't recall how I stumbled onto your blog, but I looked at it with curiousity, wanting vaguely to be above what you did and said. Instead, I found myself grudgingly and progressively enamored first of your photographs (still my favorite), then of the graphic stuff...and most significantly, of the direct, contemplative, and pragmatic personality who seeped through your words.
We've had drastically different careers--yours,in family and art; mine, in academics and medicine.
Still, I've discovered so much in common with the woman I perceive behind your work and words--most significantly, how much I like you.
Shine on, Mary B.B. We're out here singing the old hits with you.