Who Put the Art in the Party?


Part of my wall at the HYPE Gallery

It was no coincidence that “art” was right in the middle of “party” on Saturday night at the Studio Door/HYPE Gallery in San Diego.  Live jazz, good wine, happy people, great conversations, a little dancing and – of course – art!

Like writers, artists like me without a big studio where I can invite people in work much of the time in solitude.  The possibilities of getting our work to the public are generally limited to street fairs or a neighborhood coffee shop or competitions where we might exhibit (if we’re lucky) one or two paintings.

But the chance to show our work in a gallery, several pieces of our work at one time, is a break we don’t take lightly.  And the possibility of making sales on the spot is a possibility that means a lot.  Most of us are not starving in garrets, but selling our work is not just about making money with it.

I sold two of my smaller collages Saturday night, one to someone I know and one to strangers, a delightful couple who told me how much they liked it and talked about where it would go in their home.  That’s the part that means something to me.  And the person I knew did know about my art but had not seen it.  When she did, she wanted to own one of the pieces.  We were both happy.

As a born people-watcher, I also enjoyed observing the flow of the crowd on Saturday night – the folks who come to see a specific artist as well as the art aficionados who enjoy a pleasant evening out and want to see what’s new. It’s instructive for an artist to watch what happens when they pass by your own work – the ones who take a quick glance and move on, the ones who stop to take it in, spend time with the work, sign the guest book or pick up your card and slip it in a pocket.

Abstract art is not for everyone, so I didn’t expect everyone to be interested, but I listened to comments and watched.  Learned.  None of this will change what I do – I’m not creating art for the masses – but I did hear things that helped me know I’m not headed into an art ditch either.

I came home Saturday night gratified by the whole experience.  And Sunday morning, I gessoed up a new canvas and got right back to work.  An artist.


New work.  Only just begun…stay tuned!

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