Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Wild Flowers

I sold a painting today. To be more precise, the talented and lovely Kelly Schulz at elizabethW in Carmel, CA sold the above painting today. ("Wild Flowers", 8x10") I rarely mention painting sales, and they are frequent and exciting enough to merit mentioning. But there is that artist part of me, like all of us perhaps, that shies away from really owning that we are tapping into our creativity to earn a living. I have no problem answering the Worst Question Ever, "So what do you do?" You mean, read, paint, exercise, connect with friends and family, mediate, write, drink coffee, hike, play with my cat, daydream, create mail art, cook, clean, decorate, shop, correspond, listen to NPR, binge watch Scandal, surf the net and do errands? Ohhhhh, you mean what do I DO that has value that makes green money? I own a greeting card company.  That is my IRS profession. But I wouldn't have said company if I hadn't painted a whole bunch of pieces months and years in advance of launching that company. It is the thing that "I do" every day, at strange hours, in bursts of activity, then long periods of post-carb eye glaze followed by what should I do with my life-itis. Then I snap out of it, get back to email, packing, shipping, creating, corresponding, selling, marketing, whatever the need is that day. The critical part that this painting reminds me of is that I still have hunchy shoulder, really, I'm an artist? reaction when I hear that a painting has sold. Happiness and joy, for sure. No doubt, I do a little (big) YES, in the sky, and thank the seller/purchaser. But old habits die hard. There is no profession that starts out with "I Used to be....".  Time to own this sucker.

It's been a long road to making art for a living.  It's nerve wracking, joyous, frustrating, exhilarating, lonely, fabulous, exciting, peaceful and a sentiment I can't think of a word for: more faith than you ever knew you could muster. That word. And that's why when I see this little still life and hear that it has sold, I think of me sitting in my studio/living room painting late at night, I think of my kind and generous friends who own a store and take and sell whatever paintings I send them. I think of the beautiful women who sell them, the person I'll probably never meet who bought it and I think about this professional road less traveled. I think of the years of baby steps on this path it took to even have the material and story to write this post. I think the heart does not lie. If you are being called, whispered to or flat out, bullhorn in the ear yelled at to step towards your creative thing, inch closer to your wild flowers. xo

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