Sunday, May 20, 2012

Maybe you quit too soon, she said.

I was surprised the other day when some new friends mentioned that they didn't know I was an artist.  After all, I've been working at trying to sell my art for over 35 years.  Yikes, that's a long time. 

Here I am, back a few years ago, with one of my mixed-media paintings in the Cedar Park Regional Medical Center Permanent Art collection.  They specifically looked for local artists when commissioning the art, and since I lived very near there, I was honored to be a part of it.

 I told my woeful tale of how hard it is to make a living as an artist, much less get by.  And I told them how frustrating and depressing it was to watch the art pile up, year after year.  I admitted that I had *officially retired* from the art business two years ago, and was now concentrating on my writing.

The installation of my three pieces, in their own beautiful niches, in the Cedar Park Regional Medical Center

As I looked at my new friends' amazing art collection that includes sculpture, paintings, prints and outsider folk art, I commented that I always heard that there were people who loved art, and collected lots of it, but I had NEVER, in all those years, ever met any of them.  Isn't that strange?

One of them (thanks, Ms. P!) later said "Maybe you quit too soon."  Hmmm.  Ever since then, I've been thinking about the incredible amount of artwork I've created over the years.  I've worked in almost every media imaginable. Before we moved, I'll admit I either destroyed or gave away a good bit of my collection.  I'm sure some would think that's horrible.  But my new home is much smaller than our previous home, and my office doesn't even have a closet.  In the back of my mind, maybe I was thinking that the small cottage out back of our house *might* possibly become an art studio one day, once it's protected against the elements.  I made the conscious decision to spend full-time writing.  After all, I had ALSO been writing all those years.

I do have digital photos of most of my artwork, and for me, that's OK.  Many artists, I've learned, periodically destroy some of their art.  Another new Taylor friend, also an artist, told me to keep one good piece from each of my new directions.  I liked that advice, and so did keep a dozen or so pieces. Will I regret destroying those others?  Time will tell, but in general, I very rarely regret my actions.

"Sun in a Circle" Abstract Painting on Paper

As I looked through the photos, I made the decision to add a new page to my official website for samples of my artwork.  In general, it reminds me that all those years I spent weren't wasted, that some beauty came out of them, and many people did see my paintings and such--even if they don't own them.  That's the beauty of the Internet and digital images.  And since I do have digital images, the artwork can still be shared over and over, and even printed if I choose.

Right now, I'm happy writing full-time, because our house remodeling project, and my new garden design (yes, we do all our own work), have been taking up any extra time I have.  Once we're settled in, though, I expect I'll be eyeing that space out in the cottage and dreaming of a new work space, and maybe even a painting area.

Actually, come to think of it, I have written poetry about painting, and about art.  Can I separate the two, without feeling that I'm missing something?  Maybe someday I can find a *satisfying* way to combine the two.  I hope so.

Happy trails!

bobbi c.

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