It's been a busy year so far as I plan, paint, and prepare for a popular artist’s group exhibition. Every April we bring in our new work from the prior winter…in this case, the previous two covid years! A lot of creating took place during that time.
The last couple of days I’ve been constructing the grids where the 25 participating artists will hang their work for the show and sale. I have been involved in this artistic collective for several years, but the Lake Area Artists have been showing and selling art for 42 years in the same location in Lake Oswego! Every year our efforts and talent brings in many returning collectors, new businesses choosing fine art to enhance their spaces, and recently, an increase in millennials making their first purchases. Of course, we artists appreciate support from our community.
Wednesday we set up the room with grids, tables, and assure an easy flow through the gallery. I am in charge of this part of our show. Thursday we all experience a controlled frenzy as artists bring in and set up their work in their designated spaces. Two full days just getting everything ready. And Friday 10am we opened our doors and invited those waiting to enter…. the beginning of our long awaited weekend.
I stay there during the entire weekend to help when needed, wander and appreciate all my friend’s new art and techniques, but mainly stay close to my work and talk to those interested in how I spend my life’s energy… creating.
Last evening, Friday, during the Artist’s Reception a couple stopped to view my Small Space Collection of acrylic landscape paintings. I approached and introduced myself and the gentleman asked me to tell them about my painting process. From all the marketing tools I have studied I know I should have specific answers available…but my brain and soul does not work like that. Instead I asked them specifically what they were interested in knowing. He asked, “Tell us about your painting frustrations and how you resolve those conflicts in your mind and on your canvas”. I felt like fresh air was gently blown into the room at that moment. Authenticity and vulnerability co-mingled inside me …and my heart opened. I discussed my process and told them I had much knowledge, more guts than brains, and had already experienced the fear of mistakes many times over. This powerful recipe allowed me to fail at my objective, step back and take time to evaluate, plan, and integrate a different approach, then evaluate and alter again. I was not a perfect painter. I valued patience, learning, and unexpected outcomes.
That was one of many discussions I had with collectors, art appreciators, and those coming in to look at fine art (and sip complimentary wine) as their mental health break.
So, my friends, my story is out. I’m a confidant painter…and I have moments (or days) of doubt and perplexity. Many times I just go out for a walk and air myself out. My paintings always looks manageable (and better) when I look at them with fresh eyes the next day.
Hmmm… this reminds me of….Life.
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Hi...I'm Patrice... an acrylic painter who writes, and enjoys sharing how I create and think.