"ART is a word which summarizes THE QUALITY OF COMMUNICATION. "
L. Ron Hubbard

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Admiration is the artist's pay

Bouquet and Lemon by Coulter
I recently participated in 2 shows, one a 1-person show (mine) at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston (32 paintings) and one a 3-person show in which I had 20 paintings at the Rose Gallery in Reston. So there were two receptions. For an "artist's reception", the artist invites guests and provides a spread and hopes that some interest and — yes — sales of work will result. So when there are no sales, or the turnout is meager (one of the receptions was admittedly held on a record-hot day when the News told people to stay home), it can be a little depressing. (Oops. We don't use the word depressing anymore. You can feel the pointy ears of psychs rising alertly.)

So, anyway, I was discussing the lack of sales at the second reception with another participant and said, "well, you know, part of the artist's pay is admiration." She immediately brightened up. Well, it's true. And those of you who've admired my work (but never bought any) should feel less apologetic. I do pay attention to your admiration. It is appreciated.

But also take these words to heart:

"If, of thy mortal goods, thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store two loaves
alone to thee are left,
Sell one & from the dole,
Buy Hyacinths to feed the soul"
- Muslihuddin Sadi,
13th Century Persian Poet

Art is an important part of your world. Art is created by artists. Artists have to survive. If we can't survive by selling our art, then we must become bankers, or bureaucrats, or engineers, or street cleaners. And if you look at the bankers bureaucrats, engineers, and street cleaners of the world, you may find frustrated artists of one kind or another.

Support your own artistic endeavors. And support artists as well as you can. Buy hyacinths for the soul.

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