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Saturday, February 6, 2010

An Artshow that Wasn't

Proud of our paintings that were hanging in the windows of the Harlowe Gallery, the members of Gateway Artists were saddened when they got rained out on Fort Myers weekly Art Walk. On Saturday, with a break in the weather, we headed for Ponce d'Leon Plaza with our prints, cards, and small paintings. The rain was gone, the sun was trying to shine, and we were positive.

Unfortunately, the wind a mighty enemy still, swept down the plaza turning the alleyway into a shrieking wind tunnel. We shivered, we held down our wares and tried to smile at artgoers who were more interested in finding a safe haven from the wind than looking at art.

This is the way of artists. You work hard. You gather your best efforts together hoping for some recognition or a sale, and you mostly return home with neither. If you're lucky, sometimes a referral is made. Sometimes a painting is filed away in someone's mind or they pick up a business card and later remember, but this is an uncommon occurrence.

As for myself, most of my sales have come via commissioned artwork or by word of mouth when someone likes my work. Why do I persist? Why does any artist keep going?  Because to stop would be to stop breathing or living. The need to express the passion you feel about life and the beauty around you is life itself to the artist. The same holds true for a writer. You can stop for awhile. You can put your passions, your thoughts, your ideas aside for a time. But do it long enough, and these emotions come bubbling to the surface either in anger, desperation, or depression.

Art is its own reward. You feel satisfaction and accomplishment when a work of art is completed. If others enjoy your work that's a bonus. If you make a living at it, you've arrived! It is the same satisfaction I get from writing my blogs. I've only been at this for a few months, and I don't know how many people are stopping by, but I do enjoy reaching out and sharing my thoughts and my artwork with you.

So if you ask me if I'll do another artshow or write another blog, the answer is a resounding yes, because I must. If you're a writer or an artist you'll understand.