Friday, July 30, 2010

Artist Melinda Goes on An Adventure: Part One

I haven't gone far. In fact, this adventure I'm about to share is from right here in little ole Tucson, the Old Puelo as it's often called.

About a month ago, Mr. Artyfice and I visited a local gallery to see their current exhibit. There we saw a Jim Waid painting that we admired very much. It was small. It was affordable. When I say affordable, I mean in a Tucson kind of way. The gallery has offered its patrons purchase plans in the past which meant that the lowly middle class collector could pay any amount over time (yes, even $10 per month, without interest) until the artwork was paid in full. A great deal, indeed.

We liked the painting so much that we spoke to one of the gallery owners who dropped us like hot potatoes when a photographer for a publication arrived, but we left one of my business cards saying how much we liked it and requested a call back.

Soon, one of the owners called, left a message, and referred to my "small" card. Later, the other gallery owner called and left a message too. This time referring to my "little carte de visite." It occurred to me that if I were a well known artist, or perhaps a male artist or reviewer with a newspaper, neither of these adjectives would have accompanied the reference to my card--with such deliberation. It put me off the whole idea of purchasing...and we've bought from this gallery before!

I went home and looked at my old catalog of Waid's work and decided to experiment.

This is the result.

(18" x 24," oil on cradled art board)
I figured that, dang it, I could paint something for myself in a similar fashion. Hmmm. It started something.

It's pretty difficult to get art into a gallery. Now I'm seeing that it's almost as difficult to get the artwork out. Galleries can't afford to be too snobbish, especially when they can't even remember a previous customer or recognize an eager, present buyer. Gee, and aren't galleries struggling in this economy?! More soon...


Edgar said...

This painting is eye-poppingly rich and intricate Melinda. Have they been putting something in your water?

And yes, you would think that since a) you were already a collector who had bought from them and b) times have to be tougher than they used to be [seems to me I read something about that recently]... you'd think that attention would be paid, with cordiality, and without condescension.

Maybe they just hate artists?

Karen said...

That makes me nauseated!! All of it...the fact that you're trying to give them your $$ and they treat you that way...the descriptions of your card!!!! I wanted to drive right down there and go to the gallery and....!!!!!!! @$&##**^#**@^#@!!!!!!! Is that how I write what I mean?!


Okay, the actually _important_ part is your art, you, your vision, this painting, and the next and the next... as you go through the world...
the rest of the small people fall away...

cohen labelle said...

This is an extraordinary painting!!!
I love it!!!!

Melinda said...

Thank you, Edgar. I think you've been putting something in my tea! I'll have some more of that medicine, thank you, as long as it continues to push me in the same direction.

We still had fun looking at the art, didn't we?! I think the gallery owners are getting tired. Too bad.

Melinda said...

Yes, Karen, it is very disturbing that they would treat anyone this way. It's not the first time that this has happened to us either at this gallery. Astonishing that they are still in business. What really rankles is the fact that the artists exhibiting there aren't being helped by this approach.

You're absolutely correct. The work is the thing and those small gallery owners will fade away.

Thank you so much for your comment! I feel supported and it means a great deal to me.

Melinda said...

Hi Marcia,
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Maybe the gallery did me a favor, eh?

These experiments are really changing my whole approach to painting. And, you and our fellow artist bloggers, keep me inspired and willing to move forward.

Virtual hugs!

Jeane Myers said...

wow! what an unfortunate experience for both sides - gallery/client - lose, lose - and lose for the artist at the gallery - he lost big time because his representative had an attitude - your solution is fabulous! this is an exciting painting - one would never get bored looking at this :)

Melinda said...

Hi Jeane,
It certainly is a cautionary tale of a legitimate gallery under-representing their artists.

I'm so very glad that you have a good relationship with those who exhibit your work and I hope you always do!

Thank you for writing that you would not get bored looking at this painting. That is my goal always...well, and to be pushing toward excellence--just as you do.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I should say. Shame on them. No one who visits a gallery should be ignored (and I have been) because they don't 'look' like a 'buyer'.
Howard Hughes didn't look like a buyer, now did he?
I think you should stick with your own work ;) It's quite good.

Melinda said...

Hi Mary,
And, welcome! You have stated it succinctly. The gallery owner cannot tell if we are buyers by the way we look. To frame each visitor by an arbitrary view of appearance, seems to be the eventual end of any business.

So, this has happened to you. Yikes. In Tucson, it's too hot and too casual to dress to the nines. Risky business, for sure.

Thank you so much for stopping by and for your supportive comment.

Donald Diddams said...

Melinda, this painting is so exciting and beautiful. I could hardly pull my eyes away to write this!
As for the gallery... they are probably on the path to ruin. Authentic and heartfelt service to the customer (both artists and collectors) -- not snobbery -- is the only way to succeed. Too bad you had to be on the receiving end, but if it helped inspire this painting, well then it may have been worth it!

Melinda said...

Hi Donald!
Thank you so much for your generous comment. Wow. This painting like Waid's style was so much fun. It felt right to work the paint this way and to have fun. I'm glad you like it.

Yes, you are right. I think the gallery is in decline. They've had quite a presence in town, but maybe not with buyers and artists. Well, they did me a favor, in a way.

I don't think I'll send them a thank you card, though...

Linny D. Vine said...

Their loss and our world's gain...BIG TIME!!! Love this one, Melinda...colorful and dancing with emotion!

Melinda said...

Thank you, Linny! It means a great deal to me to read your kind comment. I hope to continue to experiment and push forward, always seeking authenticity and a painterly approach.

Virtual hugs!

SamArtDog said...

Part One is a cliff-hanger! I was rooting for you all the way up to the part about that Oilcan Harry of a gallery screwing the pooch. Can't wait 'til the part where they cpme begging to hang this in their hallowed halls, and you get to... well, you know...

Bonnie Luria said...

The gaul of the gallery- a gaullery is more like it. And if this spurning produced such a painting as this one, your ire served you well.
I think you've just painted yourself a protector/shaman.
So if this is Part One, when shall the sequel be revealed.
You have such a skill for color use that is powerful and complex.

Melinda said...

You're brilliant. I do like your perspective. Yes, I've decided they may never invite me to exhibit, but if they were to, I'd have some kind of retort, fer sure.

Yes...a cliffhanger...coming to a blog near you...soon...


Melinda said...

Whoa, Bonnie, "The gaul of the gallery- a gaullery is more like it" is so clever.

You've coined a new word for galleries with waaaay too much attitude! I love it.

Sometimes one's anger can be channeled into a thing of beauty. At least, I'd like to think so.

Thank you so much for your comment. I think what they did was a good motivator for me, absolutely.

Wait 'til you see what happened next...

Nancy said...

Hey, Melinda -- what gallery was this? Appalling! Love your work, btw.

Melinda said...

Hi Nancy,
It was Davis Dominguez Gallery. Pretty sad, eh? I'll bet others have had the same experience. Seems like a pattern to me (second time for us).

Thank you so much for your comment!

Nancy said...

That is sad. They went out of their way to insult you! Looking forward to the rest of the story...

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Yowser - that 'ole owl's a hootin!!!!

Don't talk to me about Gallery Owners - I thought it was just me and only in Scotland! Has put me off ever dealing with them ever, ever, again (which is a subject I need to talk to you about sometime).
Never disappointed...everytime I come a-visitin' there it is: art I would give my right arm for (except I could never paint again, which might put a damper on my ambitions :o{
and that's another subject for discussion: if you believe enough in yourself and create such brilliant art why buy anybody elses? I know: because these is always so much good work from others that demand your love.
Thanks for posting this Melida (wish my blog was so insightive), it is a joy to read your thoughts!
Brither David :o)

Melinda said...

Dear brither David,
Sad, but true. So sorry to have to concur with you that galleries, like people, are pretty much the same all over. A gazillion wonderful people...and then a few troubled or just plain mean ones.

Thank you so much for your kind words. I wouldn't want you to hurt your paintin' arm!

You're right about wanting to enjoy the artwork of other artists and purchase their work. Each and every artist linked on my blog list has work I would love to buy. D'ya know which one of yours I wish I could buy? The one of the two chaise lounges by the side of the pool from your vacation to, I think, Spain. You've taken it down from Etsy, but I still remember it. Someday, we should talk about it. Yes, email me privately, if you'd like.

Joan Breckwoldt said...

Hi Melinda,
this paiting is fantastic, good for you for creating this yourself. I'm sorry you had that experience at the gallery, it sounds similar to the one I had at a NYC gallery recently, but that was NYC and it didn't surprise me. But a local gallery where you have bought before, treating a customer like that, that's troubling. Yet another thing about the whole art business that I don't understand.

Melinda said...

Hi Joan,
I'm so sorry that you, too, had a similar experience in NYC. It can really effect one's day. It's so unnecessary.

Yes, this was our thinking as well. We'd purchased from them in the past (even mentioned it before), and we were eagerly looking at another painting. Seems like a good prospect for the gallery.

Our conclusion is that the gallery owners don't really want our business because they have their "real" clientele--clients they know when they see them.

Thank you! I'm glad you like the painting. I'm always a bit unsure when a painting is done, whether it will be something interesting or not.