Let’s see . . . I sold one in May, two in June and three in July. I know that doesn’t sound like much and I sure couldn’t support my lavish lifestyle on the money, but it is a beginning with something new: consistency. My goal is to sell something every month over the coming year. Then I’ll work on getting that down to every two weeks, then every week and so on.
I think one of the things that has helped me get to this point of selling a little art is a deadline. I am an ‘Angel’ at Jana’s RedRoom. That means that I’ve committed to paying a small amount each month toward the Gallery’s expenses and therefore am always on display there; but the work has to be new and fresh every month. So I have to have new things ready to hang – which has forced me to focus and move forward without a lot of gnashing of teeth and fretting.
There are six of us ‘Angels,’ I believe, and all are contributing excellent work. By thus subsidizing the Gallery (and securing a somewhat permanent place on the walls), we enable emerging artists to display their work at very little cost. Nurturing emergers has always been a priority for the amazing Jana Lynch and I am proud to be able to help her do that in any way. I have to remember, way back, how anxious I was about showing my work, especially to other artists I admired. I have no such fear now – but I remember. Jana makes it easy for people to make the first step and the second. She guides and coaches and moves people along to becoming better artists and better people. And her sidekick manager, Anja Whitemyer (an outstanding artist herself), maintains a standard of quality that has everyone – even us Angels – pushing to show better.
For September, I have something new and different up my sleeve. I am on the BIG wall in the lobby of the Arts Factory (a wall Jana curates). This is my third moment there and I’ve sold work each of the other two times. It’s a great place to be! In the past I’ve hung paintings. Last month they were big 4′ x 5′ pieces of which I sold two the day I hung them. But this month I’m going in a different direction.
I have been taking photographs since I was 15. My first camera was a 1935 Leica my dad brought home from World War II. It was an amazing camera that did nothing automatically. I was forced to learn how to manipulate an image before pushing the shutter button. And manipulate I did! I have, on occasion, taken some wonderful, generally realistic, photos. But over the past several years I’ve been increasingly fascinated by bad images and closeups that don’t reveal the reality of the subject but rather it’s essence. These are abstract photographs that often involve a fair amount of manipulation before, during and after pushing the button.
I have three versions of the same image I’m going to hang in September. One tends to Green/Blue, one to Orange and
one to Purple. Each has been rotated to a different orientation. I’m having them printed 4′ x 4′ on fine art quality canvas with sewn pockets at top and bottom for hanging rods. I’m going to hang them on that big wall and dominate the lobby. The series is called ‘Saint Michael, the Archangel’ because the original photo was taken in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico when I was there a couple of weeks ago.
If the printing and show turn out well, I’m going to carve out a little time to work more on photos. I think my abstract shots are almost as much fun as my paintings – though the Zen state one sustains for hours when painting is usually much shorter when working photos.
Oh, and by the way: the camera I used for Saint Michael (and that am increasingly using for my abstract shots) is . . . . (drumroll) . . . . my Google Nexus P phone. While it does not produce the HUGE .RAW file my Panasonic Lumix does, it allows me to get to places and moods a bit easier. And, overall, it’s a pretty darn good camera. I can’t wait for the Pixel II to be released!