Sunday, June 01, 2008

Moving On

"Along the Yampa"
Oil on Panel

In the midst of packing up our house in Denver this weekend, I had to take a trip downtown to pick up my remaining paintings from Angler Art. They're closing their doors for a year (or more), and it was a bit sad to have to pick up all my paintings for good. This was the first gallery that took me on and sold my work, back when I was still working fulltime as an engineer. They sold seven paintings the first month, and kept selling well from that time on. Last year they moved, and things got slower, but they did a show for me and we sold a good number of paintings and had a lot of fun. I'm in debt to them for essentially starting my career as a landscape artist, so even though I wasn't too surprised that they're closing, it's sort of sad. Had they not done so well for me that first year, I don't know whether I would have had the confidence to paint fulltime.

That's the thing about art - even though it's a business, you develop relationships with your galleries and the people you deal with. There's loyalty involved, and it's personal, you know? Or maybe it's just that I take things more personally because this job matters to me so much. It makes me picky about the people I want to represent my work.

Anyhow, some of the paintings I picked up are over a year old, and when I saw a couple of them I experienced the cringe factor that I talked about in my last post. My style has evolved so much over the past year that it's funny to see the older works and remember what I was working toward then (brushwork, color) compared to what I'm working on now (mood, atmosphere). Always evolving, I guess!


  1. oh stacey what a bittersweet post. i understand where you are coming from here. i no longer show at my first gallery, not because they closed but because we mutually agreed that my work no longer suited the gallery (went painting florals to my new more surreal work). but it holds such great memories, i too would never have had the confidence to continue without that galleries belief (and sales) of my work!

  2. i was saying (my daughter needed me), bittersweet post, and this painting is beautiful. the reflections in the water steal the show.

  3. You have touched on two truths of life.

    One thing you can always count on is that things will change. And there is nothing more valuable than our relationships.

    Stacey, you have a great heart and it shows in your paintings. Thank you for consistently reminding me that the art business is a personal adventure and not a calculated enterprise.

  4. Christine - you're right, it is bittersweet. Things are progressing and it's good, but it's sad to leave people and places behind.

    Michael - yup, we can all count on those two things. Sometimes I feel like I talk business so much on this blog that people will think that's what I'm about - thanks for the reassurance that that's not the case.

  5. I don't think that you talk too much business at all.

    You talk a lot about Aspen too, and that tells me a lot about you as well. I love hearing about how other parents of young kids mix work with family time.

    About galleries and relationships. I agree. and I would rather deal with a good person, or group of people, that sell less than a jerk that can sell a lot. Relationships are more important to me than the dough.

    I guess I should add that I have never actually dealt with a jerk that sells well. Just jerks that don't sell that well.
    I have dealt with a lot of good people as well. Please don't get the idea that I think all gallery owners are losers.

  6. Frank - yeah, the gallery relationship is very important. I'd never sell my work at a gallery where the staff were rude, because I figure how well can they do with my work if they can't be nice? I think being kind of young gives me an advantage there - I can visit a gallery without them knowing I'm an artist, and if they're jerks, they'll likely be jerks to me since I don't look like the typical art patron!