Thursday, January 19, 2012

It Comes with the Job

For the past three days I haven't had much time to paint. I have been at the studio, I have worked on art, but none of it consisted of me actually picking up a paint brush and applying paint to a panel. This is the life of a working artist. Sometimes you don't get to actually paint.

These last few days I have had to deal with both FedEx and UPS dropping off artwork without a signature and leaving them on doorsteps (FedEx leaving work at a gallery doorstep and UPS leaving work on mine). This caused a tremendous amount of panic and worry on my part about paintings being stolen and cracking while sitting outside in the cold. Two pieces were damaged this way and because of this, I needed to find someone who could repair the work, which was in the East Coast. Coordinating this across the country was no easy task. It took a lot of emailing, phone calls, and keeping fingers crossed, but I did find someone who was able to repair my work over the weekend and return it to the gallery on Monday (THANK YOU Lynette Haggard and Laura Schiff Bean!).

I got very little done on this painting...
Since UPS left three boxes of paintings on my doorstep, I had to race home as soon as I could and retrieve the work. Once I lugged the large boxes back to my studio, unpacking and examining them was next on my agenda. Six of the 12 returned pieces were going to be included in a designer's showcase (along with 4 other of my pieces that were packed and picked up the day before) so I needed to repack them after I lightly fused and polished each pieces. Inventory sheets also needed to be written up and emailed to the appropriate places. My website then needed to be updated so that each painting had the correct asterisk detailing where you could find the work.

The next day included coordinating with my art rep and another artist so that I could pick up this artist's work and deliver those pieces, along with mine, in time for the designers to install the work for the showcase. The work was picked up and dropped off and I headed home in order to write and send out my latest newsletter which announced my new gallery representation and that I was participating in the Affordable Art Fair this weekend. Email addresses were updated, the newsletter was sent out, and I was done.

During these three busy days my painting was left untouched. Poor little painting...

Sometimes this happens. The business of art gets in the way of painting. Frankly, there is so much that needs to get done when your are a working artist which has NOTHING to do with actually producing artwork, that you are bound to have a few days like these...on a regular basis (although hopefully without the FedEx or UPS drama!). It comes with the job and you just have to deal with it. I know most of us would rather just sit in our studios happily painting away while someone else deals with this stuff, but you can't survive as a business person (and let's face it, art IS a business) unless these tasks get done. If you're lucky, you have an art assistant or an intern, but even with help, some things you just have to do yourself.  It's a fact of life.

These last three days were hectic but now things have calmed down again and I can get back to the part that I enjoy: painting.

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