Thursday, May 2, 2013

Happiness At What Cost?

Why do my children not understand me? Why do they not see just how unhappy I was? Why don’t they “get” that I stayed as long as I did for them? If I had predicted that they’d turn against me, I’d have left the lot of them a long time ago. OK. I guess I wouldn’t have left my children.  I would have taken them with me. Life would have been a struggle and I would have felt guilty about that, too. But by now, they’d no longer hate me. Or maybe they still would. No matter what we do, our children will never love us the way we love them.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Future Of Fine Art In America

When I first began painting and had finally created a few things that I felt were worthy of a price tag, I joined an artist co-op in Baltimore, Maryland. The Art Gallery of Fells Point was located on Thames Avenue in Fells Point and had a membership of about 60 artists; all of whom had to be juried into membership. I was thrilled! Even more thrilling was that I immediately began to sell my artwork. Barely a month went by when I didn't sell at least one painting and often it was more than that. That was in 1999. And for two years things were great! Then, along came 9/11.

After that, art sales dropped, rose again, then dropped, dropped, dropped, kept on dropping and then became almost non-existent. It was frustrating because I knew that my artwork was getting better and better.   And from talking with other artists, I knew I wasn't the only one. Then the galleries began to close their doors. 

At last I was left with no gallery representation and I endeavored to represent myself. I read the trade magazines that all proclaimed that the era of brick and mortar galleries was over and all sales would have to be made online. Artists should interface with the public by having a website at the barest minimum. But, even better to have a blog and maintain it daily. Better than that, was to promote your website and blog by keeping a Facebook personality. 

So,  I tried it all.

Then, when that still wasn't working I attempted the outdoor sales and invested money in a canopy and all the other necessary equipment. Things were better, but only a little.

Fortunately, I found the art fairs to be fun, but very frustrating; especially if I happened to get placed between two jewelry booths. 

Over the past 10 years it has become increasingly noticeable that sales of fine art have declined. But usable, wearable art is very, very popular. 

I have my own theories about this, but the "why's" don't really matter. I just wonder if fine art will ever again be appreciated by the masses. I know that wealthy, cultured people still purchase fine art; usually not less than four digits in the price tag (that's four digits to the left of the decimal point). So sure, I could add digits to my price tags, too. But getting accepted by galleries where these fine collectors shop (or their personal buyer or decorator shops) is a whole different story.

Artists who appeal to the mainstream, like myself, are competing with Target and Walmart for wall art. We're competing with China and mass produced, lower quality prints. It's tough.

I don't have an answer. I love creating fine art to hang on the wall. I love jewelry, but I have no desire to make it, and the same goes for pottery. 

For now, I will continue to create my mixed media paintings and attempt to sell them, but I'll also put my images on t-shirts, license tags and coasters, too, in the hope of generating some sort of income with which I can purchase more art supplies. It's a vicious cycle.

But, I know this... I'd hate to live in a world where original fine art ceases to exist. What a sad, gray world this would be.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Driver's License Photo

New technology never ceases to amaze me. Recently I had to get a new photo taken for my driver's license. Not only was the photo processed instantaneously, but it morphed into a photo of my mother! How do they do that?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Why Does A Deere Have To Be Green?

Recently, while traveling north on Delaware SR 1, my attention was riveted to a passing flatbed trailer. Its cargo contained a tractor with a front loader; but it was unlike any tractor I have ever seen. It was blue! And not just any shade of blue; periwinkle blue! I wanted one. I had to have one! The idea of a pretty tractor made my mind run wild.

Suddenly, I thought of all the rural scenes I had observed all my life with nothing but green farm equipment. Green! Ugly, garish, bright John Deere green. And I found myself wondering, why? Why do all tractors in America have to be green?

What if a farmer had a periwinkle tractor and with it he pulled a disker in a beautiful complementary shade of red/orange? Or a baler in an analogous color, say celadon green? Or a magenta manure spreader??? Suddenly my vision of the countryside was changing rapidly.

And maybe, just maybe, what if these wonderfully colored pieces of farm equipment actually attracted women to this occupation? If you ask me, there are far too few women farmers. It seems to me that women have a natural instinct for animal husbandry and growing things. I’m sure there are so few in the field because their color choices are just down right sparse and ugly.

Look, I’ve prepared visual aids:




And is this the worst kind of stereotyping or what?

Come on! Put the woman behind the wheel and in colors that she likes! 

I mean, really?


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Love and Love Alone

I'm intrigued with social media and I relish the 700 plus friends I have on Facebook. No, I don't know them all personally. And I take delight in the cacophony of ideas and images that daily spill across my laptop screen.

Sometimes I learn something, sometimes I'm inspired, and sometimes I find affirmation for my own deep rooted beliefs.

Just today, a friend of mine posted the following quote from Tom Robbins novel, Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates. I regret to say that I never read the book, but after reading this little snippet, you can best believe that it is now on my Amazon wish list. I have never before read a paragraph that completely sums up my feelings about life.

“The world is a wonderfully weird place, consensual reality is significantly flawed, no institution can be trusted, certainty is a mirage, security a delusion, and the tyranny of the dull mind forever threatens -- but our lives are not as limited as we think they are, all things are possible, laughter is holier than piety, freedom is sweeter than fame, and in the end it's love and love alone that really matters.”
― Tom Robbins


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Under The Heading Of People Are Just Weird

True text dialog taken from my phone:

Unrecognized local number (ULN): Hi

Me: Who is this?

ULN: Doug

Me: I'm afraid you've texted a wrong number and this is not the first time.

ULN: Why

(Of course that just left me speechless and blocking the number.)