Can You Part with Your Art?
“Clouds” – AOC, 60 x 36″
Collection of the Artist – NFS (or $100,000)
How many times have you felt remorse when you sold, gave away, traded, or lost a piece of your art? Gone forever, perhaps, never to be seen again? I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard artists say they simply couldn’t part with an especially-treasured piece. They know immediately after a work of art is finished that it is so far beyond their usual work that they can’t consider selling it.
That has happened to me once or twice. But I’m mostly over it, and the cure is to create more art. With experience, you realize there are better and more exciting things to follow. But still, there is that occasional work of art that comes from somewhere else outside ourselves, when we are in a place of perfect flow.
I do keep a few of my paintings that I might consider above average for my capabilities, and sell or happily give away the rest. One or two of them are paintings that I still look at and wonder where they came from, and wonder why I still can’t repeat a particular elusive quality. But that is such a personal thing. I do know that many other works that I considered respectable, but not necessarily above average, are enriching someone else’s life.
Years ago I had a painting stolen out of the classroom where I was taking a course at the local community college. I’ll never know whether another student just simply needed a canvas to paint on, or whether someone absolutely loved that piece and just had to have it. It was hilarious, because I thought it was perfectly awful. But I was flattered.
One of my paintings that falls into the “keepers” category has been away for almost three years. I’ve mentioned this before in this blog, because that painting is in the hands of the owner of a gallery that closed a few months ago. He still promises me he will get my work to me, but messages are getting fewer and further between lately. Still, I have to admit to myself that even if he hadn’t closed the gallery, I still trusted my own heart enough to know that I could sell it and send it out into the world where others could derive the same joy from it. That is a destiny still possible for that particular painting, no matter what happens.
Do you have a story to share about a special work of your art that you have kept, because you know it came from “somewhere else,” that you feel you could never approximate again?