Friday, 27 September 2013

September 2013

 The end is near

Maryke se Orgidee
70 x 90 cm
Acrylic on Canvas
And what a crazy year it's been! But I'll get to that in a second. 

Maryke's Orchids, a commission of her own flowering orchids. I always approach flower paintings with trepidation, since I've been 'feedbacked' more than once that my flowers tend to be flat, or flat in relation to the other subjects I paint.. and this commission came after the marbles commission that I enjoyed way too much, so I was quite nervous. But my usual mantra of 'put more paint on until it's done' seemed to do the trick, the client is very happy, and facebook was sad for a day that the painting wasn't available. All good.

Halfway though the previous commission though, and through this one as well, I was approached with an incredible offer, so my mind was racing, and several days were spent chain smoking and looking at paintings, rather than layering on more paint. And this was the second time this year that I went through such a rollercoaster of excitement, and not-so-excitement.
I had been approached by a local media/decor/entertainment/whathaveyou magazine's tv counterpart, they had started an art segment on their weekly show, and would love to interview me. 
Let the chain smoking commence! 
At the risk of selling myself short, I do NOT have a tv personality, I nervous up, stutter, lose all manner of intelligent thinking and reasoning, and ultimately throw up or pass out. In that order. So this sort of opportunity terrifies me. But my husband spent the evening telling me how beautiful/talented/awesome/funny/wonderful I am, and I believed him enough to agree to the interview, and I was actually very excited about it all. 
They gave me the dates for the shoot, and then proceeded to ignore me until after the dates had passed. Then contacted me again with new dates (without apology) which were a month and a bit in the future; and a day later asked me if we were fine then to shoot the next day. My studio was not camera-ready. Nor was my regrowth or wardrobe, I had not had time to chat with the galleries about borrowing back some paintings to show, nothing was ready. 

I trust my gut. But when I have a bad gut feeling, I challenge it to make sure that I'm not just afraid, or nervous, and using any excuse not to move forward. But I like a certain amount of professionalism in these situations, and especially when it comes to my Art and my name, I do a lot of 'soul searching' (or what ever you might call it). This is the name under which I paint, it is my brand, and I have to avoid damage to my name at all costs. And at a certain point you have to stop and think about whether this kind of 'opportunity' will do more harm than good. And at the same time I kept wondering if this could be the push I'd been waiting for, my first step into 'the big leagues' if you will.. 
There are two blogs that helped me out quite a bit though, Seth Godin - here, and Artbiz - here, both of which had done posts about how it's ok to say no to work/opportunities in certain situations. And while I had actually been quite excited about this, and what it could mean for my art, it just didn't feel right, they hadn't won my trust, I knew of no-one who had seen the show, their youtube posts had no views, and above all, they didn't seem to take it very seriously, they just needed footage to fill the allotted time slots. So I'm fairly sure that bird has now flown. Although it might just contact me next monday to hear if I'm ok to shoot the next day, who knows. And perhaps it's just that the timing is wrong, and it works out next year, but right now I feel that the choice to not do it was right.

At the beginning if this year I was super excited, having done a pretty in depth interview about my work, and specifically acrylic painting for an overseas glossy magazine. Which was subsequently bought over by another company, and then shut down. Queue chain smoking.
BUT doing those interviews taught me so much about myself and my work, that I decided to start this blog, so that was good. I believe that in fine art it's all about growing and climbing slowly. And I've said time and again that I believe if you put everything in, the rest will follow. It's scary to have the power to make these massive decisions, that might make or break you as an artist, and might come back to haunt you, especially when I have zero interest in marketing or admin (I know I know, it's super important) and all I want to do is paint without distraction. But such its life. And if I fall down, I'll just get back up again.

I'll probably do a more in depth post in December, looking back on this year, but this is where my head was at when I was working on this painting, so I thought I'd share.
I'm proud of the work I produced this year, I have achieved a lot, and I worked really hard - which shows, I'm tired to the bone. 
But being this tired along with being proud of yourself is overall a great feeling. 

In progress