October got away from me, unfortunately. A few weeks ago I looked at my calendar and realized that I didn’t post anything all month and that was upsetting. For the past few years I have made it my mission to use this blog to document what I have accomplished with my artwork and I have posted something at least once a month. Sometimes there is a lot to share, but sometimes there isn’t. It’s important for me to get better at articulating what I am doing because, like I have said before, its one area that I struggle with. Anyway, I apologize for letting a month go and being silent about my studio time.
On the upside, October was killer in Virginia. The Fall Foliage Festival proved again to be a must-do show for me. I met so many great people and spent two days talking about my recent paintings. The feedback I received made me really proud of what I am doing. While I was there, I also spoke with a local artist legend from my hometown about how hard it was to do these shows when things don’t go well. She shared with me some great advice and made me walk away with a different perception of my past experiences.
Also, back in September I got an email about an upcoming art show called 50/fifty at Golden Belt Studios in downtown Durham. The concept was a pop-up show where local and regional artists from around NC would sell their art for $50 or less. At this price point you can open the door to clients who may love art, but don’t have the funds to purchase it. This is a problem I know first hand. I see a lot of great art and artists that I want to support, but I am not always able to. For my own work I want to make that funky weird shit that not everyone immediately understands or relates to. That kind of work tends to appeal to a younger audience, many of whom don’t have extra cash to burn. That is a hard sentence to write, but believe me I have thought a lot about it. I feel I was born to be an artist and for me, being a maker is something I need to do, but what I create will never be something someone needs to live. These are the factors I consider when pricing my work. Honestly, my prices are really low in comparison to a lot of my contemporaries that I see in galleries or festivals. But I want to paint what I find visually exciting and internally fulfilling and make this accessible to those who appreciate that.
The other requirement for the show was for the art to be kitschy, edgy and gritty. It was like a curator giving me a green-light to produce some fun and weird little paintings without worrying about it. I knew I wanted to submit my most recent Linen Ladies. I had enough finished pieces to submit to the show for the opening in the beginning of November as well as enough materials to continue to make new ones. So far I have sold five of the ten paintings. One of my personal favorites was based on Mia Wallace, Uma Thurman’s character in the movie Pulp Fiction.
The show was the bright idea of Madeleine Garcia-Johnson and I think she really hit on something. While I will never make myself rich selling original paintings for fifty bucks, I love that I got to create something I enjoyed and it found a home with someone who also values it. Before this show I didn’t know if I could paint a beautifully bearded woman in her underwear and sell it, but now I know. The most important takeaway is that I can paint anything I want as long as I do it well and price it affordably. Hopefully, if I do that, someone in this great big world will dig it as much as I do. The show is up for one more week and I still have several of these left. Get on that if you’re around NC.