Monday, October 5, 2009

A thought about galleries

Again, no picture this time, but I am working on a large (24" X 36") landscape. Ever since I left art school I have had a gallery affiliation with a small gallery. I sold there sometimes, but never enough to really make any kind of living. In the meantime I have worked at a number of jobs on the outskirts of art. Being a Waldorf teacher allowed me to work every day in art while I did a chalk drawing/painting on the blackboard for my faithful students to copy. Now that that is in the past I have been cranking out more art and wanting to sell. As one artist put it..."I never intended to be the major collector of my own work." (What a great comment. Sorry I can't recall the artist who said it.) In the meantime, that gallery owner has decided to retire and close the gallery. Just before it closed, I sold my last painting there. I've sent out the disc of my art and the usual bio and statement, etc. to a number of galleries that carry work similar to my own, avoiding those that are far afield from what I do. As you may know, it's very hard to get into a gallery. I took a workshop with Ralph Oberg last summer, who said that we need them more than they need us. After looking around on the computer I somehow began getting emails about doing something online from a certain gallery and its marketing agressive owner. I got together about ten of my works and tried that gallery and was accepted. I haven't sold anything yet, but this is the best thing that's happened for my art in a long, long time. It's absolutely murder to get those rejection letters and know that you can paint circles around most of the artists represented by the gallery you are looking in to. Nobody said this was fair. It pays to know someone, but when you don't, you have to have confidence in what your work says about you. We didn't spend all those dollars for training and endless hours in front of the easel to be stranded by the economy, the luck of the draw, lack of exposure or rejection letters. A dear friend who is a writer sent a manuscript to over 100 book publishers before she found the right one. Persistence and a positive attitude count heavily. This is a tough business, but so are they all! Think positive and don't give up easily on yourself. Prepare for when the right moment comes.