Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Hanging up a Show -- Team Work gets the Job done

The Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers is sponsoring two shows: one for recent recipients of Grants, and the other in the membership hallway, featuring Pan American Alliance members.

The experience requires a good morning and afternoon measuring, grouping similar colors and types of paintings, labeling, and then the actual hanging on the wall. I see the incremental hours slip through my grasp. I have done no painting this week and another blog is due. Is it just me, or does everyone feel the days are moving faster and faster?

I must admit the camaraderie of fellow artists is fun and stimulating. There’s a certain excitement involved in having a show and seeing how spectacular everyone’s work looks on the once bare walls. Sometimes we rub each other the wrong way; there are egos involved. And stress enters in when a painting or a frame is rejected.

But when all is said and done, we rally around the wounded person and try to make amends. After all, it could be anyone of us if the circumstances were turned. Support is vital in the transitional stage between achieving public recognition and putting your toe in the waters of exposure for the first time.

I remember my first show. I didn’t know whether to hang my head in shame because I had the audacity to hang my artwork in a show or go back home without even trying.


Somehow we all get past those beginning hurdles. 

That first compliment or sale changes you forever. For the first time you see the possibilities; the fact that people out there like what you do is secondary to the pride that fills your heart and hooks you for life.

What I thrive on is challenge. It’s not enough for me to “paint pretty pictures.” I have to try something harder and more difficult each time I begin a new painting. If I’m not growing or learning, I’m disinterested. To keep my creative juices flowing and my imagination in over drive, I have to see improvement in my work and master complex subject matter. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail.

We each have our own unique way of motivating ourselves. What works for me may not work for you. The important thing is to keep going. Remember, only those who give up fail.