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Intention At Work

October 3, 2014

This past weekend was our art community’s annual Studio Tour…..and what a tour it was!

Setting the stage:
As I have alluded to in the past, I have a few hundred paintings hanging around my studio and spilling into the rest of the house. Added to this are drawings by the dozens, art cards, laminarts, vacant frames, art supplies, about 100 brushes, paint, paint and more paint for every media…and the list goes on.

In the process of downsizing I have spent an inordinate amount of time worrying about what I will do with all of the paintings and supplies. Where will I store the paintings to keep them safe and how will they be available if a client wishes to purchase one of them? I so very much needed to give up worrying about it and decided to take action.

There is an unwritten rule that under no circumstance is an artist to discount their work….no matter what. I have adhered to this rule for years. I personally know a few artists that will burn their paintings rather than discount them. The thought of this has made me very sad on many levels. I do understand that clients that have supported you at your standard price range and hope for their investment to increase in value, might look down on the practise of discounting and I suppose that is why most artists refuse to do it.

My options were to burn or to try a discount for the month of September. I made a list of the pros and cons and decided that if I gave notice to the wonderful clients that had supported me in the past and explained what I was up to….discounting for downsizing….they would understand. Infact, it would be a great chance for them to add to their collection.

A good friend of mine helped me post a coupon on my website and I sent the coupon out to my mailing list. Then, I waited for artist friends to phone and warn me that what I had done was not a good idea. I heard nothing. So far so good I thought.

The tour:

The night before the tour my sister-in-law suggested that I set an intention for the weekend. I truly considered what I wanted to happen over the weekend and encouraged myself to not think of sales of paintings, money or the competition of whom from the tour sold the most pieces of art. This was my list for the weekend:

Joy: I wanted to enjoy the people that came to see my work. I wanted to have fun with them, tell them my stories behind the paintings and share the experience.

Compassion: I wanted to share what I know about painting….to everyone, even other painters….competitors. I wanted to be able to sell paintings at the discount for people that would not otherwise be able to afford an original piece of art of mine. And, I wanted to encourage the young kids that come to the tours, to find their creative side. And finally,

Love: I wanted people to know just how much I love to paint….anything. How much I love nature, the human condition and the human race.

The process of art making is not about money. It is not about prestige. It is not about the percentage of paintings you sell from a show. On the surface it is….in reality it should not be.

OMG!!! What unfolded was miraculous. More than once I found my little voice saying…..”What the h….” People came, we experienced joy. People came, we experienced compassion. People came, we experienced the love of art.

At the end of it all I sold 21 paintings and counting…not to mention all the cards, prints, etc. I am still working on the lessons learned. It was such a generous weekend that I am still recovering and all I can say is…

YIKES!!

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