Three reasons why I’m not trying to sell you my art

3 ladiesYeah, so here are three reasons I’m not trying to sell you my art:

1) No one has ever sold me any art. I have enjoyed viewing and buying art for the last 12 years. I have purchased several pieces for enjoyment purposes. I was out browsing, usually for something else and a piece would catch my eye and my heart. I would buy it on the spot. Only once have I bought an “investment” piece.  But I didn’t buy it for the investment possibilities. Proof of that is I spent lavishly on the framing and the next person to own it won’t care at all, beyond that the LE was well protected.

2) Original art is not a 2014 car. No one needs to explain anything to you about my art when you are looking at it. The title might make you smile. The measurements might help you figure where you are gonna put it, but that information usually comes with/near the art. No one needs to convince you that the acrylic paint used is the coolest new color and your neighbors will be jealous. (Although they very well might be. Just sayin’.)

The story of how my art was birthed out of direct instruction from God to draw, and that without any training and little confidence in my abilities, I launched My Blue is Blue is encouraging or inspiring to some. It may cause you to take a second look at a piece. But it won’t make you buy it.

3) The folks who happily spend $49.99 on a two by three foot reproduction of abstract art are not my customers. I have nothing against those folks. Mass reproduction and distribution have made it very easy for everyone to afford eye catching pieces. I have nothing against the art or the companies that are churning the stuff out. I hope the artists are being properly compensated, but I suspect all those talented, unknown artists somewhere in China are not being paid fairly.

I’ve never wanted to run with the crowd. I never wanted art that I had seen or might see on someone else’s walls. And even though I didn’t know that for what I was willing to spend, I could have had original art, I chose unusual pieces that spoke to me as a woman and as a person of color. I chose pieces that made me smile or added to my sense of peace.

I’m an artist. That’s how I earn my living now. I paint almost daily as part of my continuing therapy. I have produced a lot of art. Almost all of it is for sale. If you see something that grabs you, don’t let price stand in the way. If you’d like something completely unique, I’d love to create it. However, I’m never gonna try to sell you something.

My book’s extraordinary cover art

She’s sitting in the corner, all curled up. Ponytail, barefoot, jeans and a white t-shirt. There is a small area on her side, where her shirt has risen up to expose skin. That she hasn’t straightened her shirt suggests to me that she is not much concerned about how it all looks anymore. I also believe that her being insensitive to the cool air on her side says she’s numb to feeling much of anything now.

The walls around her are pulsing, like a heart beat on a monitor the colors race up and then down. Red pulses into brown, brown into blue. It’s jarring to see the movement of the walls when she is so oblivious, so still.

I think I know her. I think I recognize this place. She’s me. This place is my vibrant life, swirling and shifting, unconcerned about me in the middle of it.

The artist captured it all. How did he know? Maybe because I’m not the only one like that, in a corner of a pulsing room.
People are surprised when I tell them the art on the cover of the book will not be one of mine. They just assumed I would use one of my pieces. The piece I’ve chosen is called Depression. It’s by a young, male artist in Oregon, named Cory Graham.

Soon after starting this blog, I began looking around to see who else was in the WordPress blog universe. I did a search for depression. Cory’s blog Expressionistic Depression popped up, and there she was. I was immediately disturbed and delighted by the piece. I had to reach out to the artist. He shared with me through emails and his blog about his battle with coming to recognize his issue as being bi-polar disorder, the search for appropriate medication and balancing his life now. His talent and his openness drew me in. Also, I could never get the girl in the corner out of my mind. I knew I wanted her to be my cover. I told Cory almost a year ago, but I don’t think he really believed me.

Now with the first draft submitted, it was time to create the back and front covers. Cory was gracious enough to allow me to use the piece. I have my buddies Tom and Cindy at designing the covers.

There is a lot more work for me to do on the project. Marketing and publicity will be more of a challenge for me than writing the book. However, I know how important the title and cover of a book are, especially for a new author. I feel like I’m setting myself up for success with the talented people I’ve been able to create with.

Here’s the link to see and purchase Cory’s art.

By the way, I’d love to hear how this piece affects you.

Taking a deeper look

Cassatt Mary The Cup of Tea 1880

Cassatt Mary The Cup of Tea 1880 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well folks, allow me to update you on my journey.

My art work is progressing nicely. I tried drawing on black paper, rather than white and gosh, I think I like black paper more. The art seems to have more depth on the black background. I’m trying to build up a collection of 20 works that I feel very proud of. I’ve got about 13 at this point. I have a very critical eye. To provide some balance, I’m looking for an art buddy who can critique some of my work. Kinda scary, but I think I’m ready for that.

I’ve gotten back in the groove of writing my book! My goal is to write 500 words a day.  That doesn’t seem overwhelming. And if I stick to the schedule, I’ll be finished with the draft in 90 days.  That will be wonderful!

I read an article that said if we logged all we did in a day over a period of days, we would discover that we have a lot more free time than we thought. Another article talked about creating a daily log of what you do.  I think that would be very effective. I don’t think I’ll find a lot of free time, necessarily.  I think I’ll find wasted time! Well, I might try it. The next step would be to set a routine that helps me achieve my art, writing and spiritual goals.

I signed up to attend a women’s business lunch with a business coach as the speaker. The night before I felt myself becoming anxious.  I told my husband.  I don’t think he realized how serious I was. I couldn’t fall asleep. Then the next morning when it was time to get up, I really, really didn’t want to.  It wasn’t just that I was tired. It was a sense of dread. I said to myself, “Is this an anxiety attack?!”  I’ve experienced that dread several times over the years. I just thought I was being “weird.”   I think I have a high level of anxiety when I go some place new and when I have to drive someplace new.  But the real question I asked myself is why did I think I would be able to go? I signed up and paid for this lunch and started researching the speaker. Everything was peachy. Well, needless to say, my husband was not too pleased with me that day.

I told myself to shake it off.  I had signed up for a free marketing event a month ago and it would occur the week after I missed the lunch. Early the morning of the event I was easily able to talk myself out of going.   Next came the guilt and negative self-talk: “How are you going to promote a book if you can’t leave your house?? You’re wasting your time. You’re gonna fail.”  Then I said, “Wait, stop.  Just stop. Don’t say mean things to yourself.  You hit a rough patch, but you can talk with God and your therapist and figure out what’s really going on. And then you will overcome it.”

I think I have an idea of what’s going on. I think it has to do with a lack of a sense of self-worth. And some of the lack of self-worth comes from believing I still have to prove something, I still have to earn something. Instead of just operating in the fact that Jesus did it all. He shed His blood for me. He sent me the Comforter. My worth is without question. I have power. I have gifts. I’m ok!

I just need to relax, breath, repeat my positive affirmations, have a cup of tea…