A Life in Paint
So there I was today, in the zone, painting away, ready to create what I envisioned to be a masterpiece and guess what .... I ran out of white paint! And to make matters worse, the car was out and I'm nowhere near an art supply store. How do you paint without white paint? Well, the quick answer is, you don't. So what do you do instead? Well, you suck it up, find the humour in the situation and write a blog.
No matter what job we have, and no matter how much we love our work, there are always those little things that occasionally happen that make us want to tear our hair out. Here are some of mine:
1. Running out of white paint in the middle of a project: Running out of any colour is irritating, but the thing with white is, you can't make it. If you run out of purple, you mix red and blue, if you run out of green, you mix yellow and blue..... you get the idea. But if you run out of white, well, you're kinda screwed until you grab some more.
2. Being asked, "is it for sale?: Well, I've posted a price underneath the picture of my creation, and you've never seen me heading off on a Monday morning with a briefcase, wearing a suit and returning some 8 hours later and repeating the action exactly 5 times, have you? Of course it's for sale!
3. "But what else do you do?": If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me what I do for a living and when I tell them I'm an artist they say, "but what ELSE do you do?", I'd be rich as heck! What do you mean what ELSE do I do? If you're a secretary, doctor, lawyer, shop clerk, whatever, I don't have the audacity to ask what ELSE you do. THIS is what I do, it's my work, my vocation, my passion and it's friggin' HARD WORK! It took blood, sweat, sleepless nights, and grueling hard-ass work for years and years to get here, so what ELSE do I do? Well, I do like the occasional glass of wine, does that count?
4. "I love this piece, but can you change _____ for me?": If you like my work, great and if you see a piece that speaks to you and you wish to collect it, great... it keeps me in supplies and gives you something you can enjoy for years to come. But it drives me absolutely nuts when I've shown a piece, and a person comes along and says, "I want to buy this, the girl in the painting reminds me of my daughter, but could you change her hair colour from the brown you have to blonde, my daughter had the prettiest blonde hair?" Or, "I love the crows in this piece, but could you maybe make them thinner?" Ummmmm, no, no I can't. The girl is brunette and the crow is fat because that's how they were meant to be, it's my expression, that's what art is? Would you go back and tell Mark Twain that you really love that Huck Finn book, but it would be super cool if you'd make Huck a girl and call her Henrietta?
5. Don't lead me on: If you have interest in a piece, great. If you don't, that's fine too. I'm a big boy, I understand life and business. But please, and this isn't only for me, it's for all the artists out there who are trying to make a living; don't lead us on. If you want it and you're prepared to pay the asking price, great, I accept cash, PayPal, debit, credit, whatever you got, I probably have a way to process it over here. If you don't have all of it, I'm happy to make payment arrangements. Heck, I've even been known to allow a slight discount from time to time. But, don't ask me to hold a piece for you until "next Tuesday" and then when next Tuesday comes, an emergency happens. and it becomes the following Thursday, and when that day comes, guess what, another emergency.... can I please wait until another week because, you know, the car broke down or you need groceries. Well, no, no I can't, because guess what, I also eat groceries and drive cars and need all the stuff people need and I just held a piece back, based on your word, for how long now? If circumstances change, just say so, I get that shit happens..... but if that shit always happens when it's time to pay...... well......
Well, that's was fun, but like all good things, this rant must come to an end.