One of the things I’ve noticed about artwork is that, well…it can pile up. I started out with a relatively small studio space to begin with. After awhile, we put in a rack so I can hang my pastel paintings without stacking them on top of each other. All well and good.
Then I started painting on canvas. The first handful of canvases were quickly hung on the walls. No problem. I got excited about creating new works on canvas, so I made an order for a shipment (hey, if you buy enough, the shipping is free!). I figured I was pretty smart, thinking ahead and ordering sizes that I could nest easily. When they arrived, I realized that I’d (doh!) forgotten that once you get to a certain size, a center reinforcement bar is required to keep the stretcher bars straight. Oh, and those larger canvases actually need corner reinforcements, too. Suddenly my nesting scheme wasn’t so clever.
In any case, I started happily painting away. Lots of wonderful images with lovely color splashed themselves all over the canvas (and a little on the floor). I kept painting, more and more, picked up a few more canvases to keep things going, you get the idea.
Pretty soon, I realized I was going to run out of canvases to paint, but I didn’t have any more room. Okay, some of those images weren’t so “wonderful,” so I gleefully gessoed over them (yay! more canvas!), but the point was clear: unless these go out into the world somehow, I’m going to run out of room again.
I’ve said this many times: I don’t have a production problem; I have a distribution issue.
Art is not meant to be stacked in the corner, nested or otherwise. It’s energy, it’s supposed to flow. Only half the transaction is completed when the paint is dry or the last pastel stroke is laid. What happens next is that it is seen. The viewing audience continues the process. And that goes on indefinitely. We’re still working on Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” Millions have participated in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling. Even your mother’s appreciation of your crayon scribbling, which she joyfully displayed on the refrigerator door, is an example of this flow.
At this point in my life, I’m no longer attached to the paintings themselves, as much as I enjoy making them and seeing them in person. I would prefer that they’re out where anyone can see them.
My goal is to make that happen. Let it flow.