Monday, February 18, 2019

2019 Will Be a Better Year

So, so much has happened since I last posted on this blog in June of 2018.  The art exhibit I wrote about then, was a great success.  I don't mean that I sold anything (I didn't), but that I got lots of art love from lots of people, made some new friends, got a write-up in the local paper, and some serious sales inquiries. But I set my prices high, for a reason. More about that, below.

Life is strange, the way it can lift you way up one moment, only to send you crashing into the depths, bruised and bloody, the next.  On August 28, 2018, I awoke to find my son, 47, asleep in his chair in the living room.  Only he wasn’t asleep.  He had passed on, quietly, during the night, with his cell phone sitting undisturbed on his knee. There was no apparent cause of death, but an autopsy revealed that a “benign” heart condition was the culprit.

I could, of course, write reams about this, but I won’t go any further at this point, because I am just now starting to come back to life myself, thanks to my daughter and other family members and friends, and getting back to work on my art has been a powerful healer. But I miss my son every minute of every day, and tears are never far away.
My beloved son, Joe (4.5.71 - 8.28.18) 

In addition to starting some new assemblage pieces, with the new year I decided to try marketing reproductions of my collages and paintings online. This is a goal I’d taken a crack at in the past, but never got very far with. Now I realize why:  these sites are not easy to use (for the novice seller), with all kinds of requirement for pixel sizes and other parameters; and you have to write a lot of product descriptions, key words or tags, etc. At this stage, it’s practically a full-time occupation in itself. I expect less time will be required once things are up and running.

I’ve started with Zazzle, mainly because it is free to use, no monthly fee. You can see my store here:
My Zazzle store banner.

I mentioned earlier that I consider my July, 2018 show of assemblage boxes at Irma Freeman Center for Imagination to be a success, even with no sales. Firstly, I am grateful just to have had the opportunity, and grateful that the director wanted myself and the other artist to each have her own space. It was thrilling seeing the huge front room of the gallery filled with my work---in fact, it was empowering!  

Me, Director Sheila Ali, and the other artist,
Valerie Herrero

I was am grateful for the many wonderful conversations I had with viewers, as well as the opportunity, occasionally, to overhear them discussing the work.  A friend reported overhearing a guy tell his comrades that my work was “absolute dope!” What better testimonial could an artist want? Total ego stroking. 

And, a write-up in the local Pittsburgh Post Gazette was also happy-making. You can read it here:

Finally, I was not really sorry that I had no sales. I priced my pieces high, so that if I was going to part with one, it would be to someone who really wanted it, and I would get a really nice check for it! The pieces in that show took many years to produce, and I like the idea of keeping them all together for awhile.  I’ll be adding to them, so that I will have an even stronger body of work when the next show opportunity comes. I will, of course, also be out there (come the nicer weather) talking to various gallery directors around the city, to help make that happen.

Luck is when preparedness meets opportunity.  
Albert Einstein  


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