Monday, October 29, 2007

What IS the point??

Now, now, now….Don’t start throwing tomatoes until I finish speaking!! I remember when I was a very young artist. I was at a party and I met an artist who was 40 something. I was familiar and in awe of his work. We talked and then he told me he had decided to “stop being an artist.” I was so young and naïve, I didn’t understand what he was talking about. I thought “How can you STOP being an artist?” (Out of the mind of babes). He went on to say he just didn’t see the point. He had made the work and nothing happened. He was tired of being ignored. He was tired of being poor. He was tired of making things nobody wanted to buy. Therefore, he made the decision to move on to other things. This was so bizarre to me; it took years and years for me to understand his mindset.
I think I get it now. I am an artist. I was born an artist. I can’t imagine just “quitting”. However, I do understand wanting to move on to other things.
I don’t seem to fit into the art mainstream or any particular art clique. I don’t belong to the “frog soap dish” crowd or the “altered book collage stamper” group. Nor do I belong to the boring "Plein Air Painters of America". (Oh yeah, Sheree, alienate everyone!) I am well educated, but I can’t relate to art hedge funds or the newest blurb about up and coming artists publicized by Ed Winkleman or the NY Times. I have never been invited into that upscale group. I just don’t have a comfortable niche.
This art life can be frustrating. Yeah, I know, I know! You make the work, market it, try to network, and use tons of energy promoting the wares. I have done all that. Then there is SILENCE. Right at this moment, I feel like saying the same thing as the quitter artist: “What IS the point?”
Without sounding morose and/or suicidal, I want to grapple and grab some upbeat quip. I want to see the “bright side". I know I am lucky to be able to create my own spectacular world full of color and bizarre imagery. I know this is a very cool thing. What scares me though is I keep hearing the words of a recent blog post I read. The blogger told a commenter “The reason your work doesn’t sell is because nobody wants it.” OUCH!………..I looked at that text and stared. Yep. I think he is correct. So, I guess, I have this house full of art because I am the only one who sees its value. Geesh…….That is depressing. Oh, oh, oh…..I forgot..LOOK AT THE BRIGHT SIDE SHEREE!!
OK, it is NOW time to throw your tomatoes:
O~~~~~~~~O~~~~~~~O~~~~~~~~~~~~~But WAIT!!!!
Anybody who reads this should not be shocked, depressed, or angry. You KNOW you have thought some of these same thoughts at one moment or another. You know you have! Use the tomatoes for a salad! We will keep making our art. We will keep wondering why or when or how. We will just keep keeping. Tee HEE HEE

”Bury” Digital/ Photoshop
Click to enlarge


Mad William said...

Telling you that nobody wants your work is a bit harsh. Your website shows that you have sold work. Somebody wants it.

Your work isn't main stream. That just means that you haven't found your market yet.

You're unappreciated in your own time. It's a compliment. Some of the greatest artists I have ever met, painted for themselves. It didn't matter if any of the works sold. It wasn't about that. Any one that's in it for the money or the attention, is in for a rude awakening.

Sheree Rensel said...

Oh NO!! The blog I read was not a comment on MY art. The blogger was telling another artist this. I just looked at the text because I too felt it was so harsh (but honest). Yet, I related and felt for that artist he was speaking to at that moment.
I know my work has its audience and you are right, I have sold lots of work. It just isn't selling at the moment. Life is a series of cycles. I know that. The pendulum will swing my way soon.
Thanks for posting!!

Melody said...

You took the words right out of my mouth as that is exactly how I've been feeling as of late. I've been looking for the towel to throw in.

Sheree Rensel said...

Never fear. You know you won't throw in the towel. In fact, I know this to be true because I could have written this post 100 or more times in my life. It is perfectly natural to feel bluesy or defeated at times. Usually, these moments act as the fuel to my fire. I get pissed and feel bummed out. Then I hate myself for whining. THEN, I do something about it. Therefore, my next phase will be like a rocket taking off. I can't speak for you, but for me times of retrospect and disallusion are a good thing. It is the same as someone telling me "You can't do that!". I buckle up, take a deep breath, and then say. "Oh yeah, watch me!"
It is all good. We will survive!!