Next Year, Florida, 4 x 12, acrylic on canvas
Elizabeth W. Seaver
In the past, I've had a few pieces of artwork disappear off of my work table here and there--pins drying, cards drying--little things, easy to palm, slip into a pocket or under a shirt. I've always thought of it as the price of doing business, especially in a large arts workshop with open studios and wandering visitors. That's how we get folks to look at our work and meet us. We work out in the open and make ourselves available for comments and questions and just plain conversation. I love it.
But yesterday, I went to check my showing space and found four empty nails on my wall. I did not jump right to the happy conclusion that all four paintings had sold. Why is that? After all, they're pretty cute, if I do say so myself. They make people smile, and most of their brothers and sisters from a 30 paintings in 30 days challenge have sold already.
But my stomach got that funny feeling--something wasn't right. For one thing, if I had sold four paintings at once, my behind-the-counter-buddies would have been as happy as I, and before the Square screen was dark, they'd have been on the phone to me.
So--the paintings are gone. And my friends and I all have guesses about what general category of folk have the stones (and the backpacks) to carry away four original artworks measuring just about the size of a box of granola bars.
But, here's the thing I wanted to share: I am hurt and sad and angry. I'm not flattered. In fact, I'm not sure those paintings were even wanted--I expect they were just the object of a momentary thrill.
Those of you in creative pursuits know exactly how much time, effort, money and love goes into doing what you do. And never with enough compensation. I feel assaulted by this event. But, I am trying not to let it weigh too heavily on my spirit. Time will help. And painting.
I got up and painted at 3:30 this morning. Because I will not let the bad guys win.
Thanks for listening.