Here are some of the pictures in my recent show. It is a 2 person show with another island artist, Ingrid McGarry. We called it The Northwest World, so all of the pieces shown were from the northwest. I don’t have any pictures of the show as hung, because Ingrid took all the photos and I haven’t gotten them from her. Ingrid’s work is neater and more serene than mine. I like it very much.
The opening was 3 weeks ago and was not much fun. We had to be there from 5:30 till 9:30, on our feet most of the time. I had had no dinner and was hungry. It was held on “First Friday Art Walk” a monthly promotional event, so many galleries were open and were serving wine and snacks. The proprietor of our little gallery had emailed us that she “didn’t feel inclined to feed the masses,” so there was nothing to eat at our show. We had a little wine (almost all provided by Ingrid and me), but it ran out early. Two doors down the city’s most prestigious gallery called “The Blue Horse” had nice snacks and from time to time I wandered in for a bite and to look at the high priced painters.
First, the animals:
Some views of Lummi Island:
Views from the road:
Shortly after the opening my son and his wife visited and I took them and Jerry to see the show. The gallery owner, a youngish woman, perhaps in her late 40′s or early 50′s, was at the back of the gallery show room where her own paintings were for sale. She had her easel set up and was painting. Her paintings are not bad, though I would never feel inclined to buy one. They are semi-abstract landscapes, predominately one color, blurry and shiny — I think she uses a lot of varnish. I greeted her as we came in and said my son, daughter-in-law and husband were with me. At first she ignored us, but in a minute or two looked around her easel and smiled.
I told my family a bit about the paintings — all of mine were oil on canvass, some of Ingrid’s were pastel. Then I walked around to look at what Sharon, the owner, was painting. I smiled and said, “Oh my, that’s green.” It was brilliant green. She turned and said angrily, “Didn’t you see the ‘PRIVATE’ sign on my easel? I don’t appreciate comments on paintings I’m working on.” I then saw a small printed sign pinned to her easel. She went on, “I’m sick and tired of people coming in here and looking at what I’m painting.”
The only words my son heard were “appreciate comments” and so he went around to look and said something like, “That’s nice.” She got really mad then, complained bitterly about people looking at her painting and so we left rather quickly.
A few days later I saw Ingrid, a tall and beautiful 50 year old, at our island Civic Club meeting. She looked nervous and distressed, “I have to talk to you about that woman!” she said. It seems that a few days after my encounter Ingrid had gone into the gallery and the same thing happened to her. She had gone into the back part of the gallery to speak to Sharon who was on the phone, so while she was waiting Ingrid looked at the canvasses stacked in the back and the one that was being worked on. Sharon hung up the phone and gave Ingrid an angry tongue lashing and demanded to know whether Ingrid had touched anything. I explained to Ingrid what had happened to me, and we agreed that something must be wrong in Sharon’s life.
No pictures have sold from this show. Perhaps it’s the economy, or perhaps the gallery owner in not very welcoming. Perhaps both. I don’t really care, but Ingrid is disappointed.
Sometimes I paint in public places. I often feel a little uncomfortable about having passersby stop to look, but I think that if one paints in public it can’t be helped. It’s part of being in the world. The onlookers are almost always admiring and interested and I like to think that in a small way they are being educated, at least in the concept that there’s more to life than TV. Gallery owners and teachers often give demonstrations, and I really thought Sharon was doing that, since she was painting in the public part of her own gallery. I had not noticed the small sign pinned to her easel.
I think both Ingrid and I will be glad to take down the show.