Tag Archives: painting

The art of the sale, or the sale of the art?

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Despite my best efforts to sabotage myself as a successful artist, I sold another piece of my artwork today.

 

Today was the second of the First Saturdays, a new venture to spread the joy of the Greater Ithaca Art Trail to the rest of the year. Because I’m technically “off the map” I don’t get a lot of visitors to my studio; hence I show most of my work at Salmon Pottery in Trumansburg the majority of the year. Last month I had no visitors, but that was OK… nobody had really heard of First Saturday Open Studio yet.  It was a good time to work quietly, or not-so-quietly, in the studio, working on a number of pieces in various stages of completion.  The studio was pretty much a disaster, and it was a good excuse to straighten up a bit.

 

For today, I pulled a few pieces off the shelves at Salmon to show in my studio; I realized that my walls are looking rather bare.  My new exploration into shadow art — etching poems into glass so that you can read the shadows in direct light — has been so successful that I’m having a bit of a hard time keeping things on the wall!  So, I needed more finished examples in the studio.

Two visitors came in on this bright and blustery day, and we had a lovely time (well, I did… I guess I shouldn’t speak for them) talking about art and travel and birds… I introduced them to my and Gordon’s artwork, and we kept talking while they looked around.  When the woman asked about pieces that are not for sale, I commented on the fact that there are a couple of pieces in the studio that do have NFS on the label… not at all thinking that what she was asking was “why don’t these have price tags?” and “how much are these pieces?”

Um, duh? The Art of the Sale class offered by the Ithaca Community Arts Partnership has been something I’ve been intending on taking, but for the same reason I hadn’t thought about putting my own price tags on my art or printing out the text for all of the pieces on the wall, I haven’t gotten organized enough to sign up.

Then, despite my complete inability to sell myself or my work, I sold Bronte’s Tree, a central image with the writing on the treetrunk on the back side of the glass so that the poem How Still, How Happy was written backwards.  I remembered where the sales book is, and miracle of miracles I remembered the password to my Square account so that I could accept a credit card.  I was hoping with all my will she would not ask what poem was written into the piece because I kept drawing a blank, and I had left the display text at Salmon Pottery.  She didn’t ask, but I promised to mail them the text.

She even granted me visitation rights, although I think that’s going a little over the edge… maybe a bit.

 

 

Anatomy of Melancholy I (2011)

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Author: Robert Burton (1577-1640)

 

This piece is the first of three pieces based on Robert Burton’s wonderfully written 17th century treatise on “melancholia,” or what is more frequently considered depression these days. He was a very well educated and literate writer in the days before systematic study of human psychology, and explored the causes, symptoms and treatment of melancholy in a very lyrical and often humorous prose.

The artwork is my first using solely a single line from start to finish, including the border; I used different sizes of pens to get darker or lighter, finer lines.  It is also by far the easiest to read! Just pick a point and go.

 

Works In Progress

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“Wind and the Sea” – a gorgeous poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar, first nationally known African-American poet and writer from Ohio, born in 1872. The etching is on the front and back of a single 3/8″ pane of glass, 12″x16″.  Next up comes some chemical etching to add texture and even a bit more depth.

The Wind and the Sea

I stood by the shore at the death of day,
As the sun sank flaming red;
And the face of the waters that spread away
Was as gray as the face of the dead.

And I heard the cry of the wanton sea
And the moan of the wailing wind;
For love’s sweet pain in his heart had he,
But the gray old sea had sinned.

The wind was young and the sea was old,
But their cries went up together;
The wind was warm and the sea was cold,
For age makes wintry weather.

So they cried aloud and they wept amain,
Till the sky grew dark to hear it;
And out of its folds crept the misty rain,
In its shroud, like a troubled spirit.

For the wind was wild with a hopeless love,
And the sea was sad at heart
At many a crime that he wot of,
Wherein he had played his part.

He thought of the gallant ships gone down
By the will of his wicked waves;
And he thought how the churchyard in the town
Held the sea-made widows’ graves.

The wild wind thought of the love he had left
Afar in an Eastern land,
And he longed, as long the much bereft,
For the touch of her perfumed hand.

In his winding wail and his deep-heaved sigh
His aching grief found vent;
While the sea looked up at the bending sky
And murmured: “I repent.”

But e’en as he spoke, a ship came by,
That bravely ploughed the main,
And a light came into the sea’s green eye,
And his heart grew hard again.

Then he spoke to the wind: “Friend, seest thou not
Yon vessel is eastward bound?
Pray speed with it to the happy spot
Where thy loved one may be found.”

And the wind rose up in a dear delight,
And after the good ship sped;
But the crafty sea by his wicked might
Kept the vessel ever ahead.

Till the wind grew fierce in his despair,
And white on the brow and lip.
He tore his garments and tore his hair,
And fell on the flying ship.

And the ship went down, for a rock was there,
And the sailless sea loomed black;
While burdened again with dole and care,
The wind came moaning back.

And still he moans from his bosom hot
Where his raging grief lies pent,
And ever when the ships come not,
The sea says: “I repent.”