The show is almost over

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:

Chicken Tryptic 1

Chicken Triptych 1

Chicken Tryptich 2

Chicken Triptych 2

Chicken Triptych 3

Chicken Triptych 3

Sled Dogs

Sled Dogs

Deer and Pheasant

Deer and Pheasant

Cow and Calf Moose

Cow and Calf Moose

Some views of Lummi Island:

Lummi Island Church

Lummi Island Church

Granger Barn

Granger Barn

Shack at Village Point

Shack at Village Point

The Rat Palace

The Rat Palace

Whatcom Chief Sunset

Whatcom Chief Sunset

Dodge Truck

Dodge Truck

Lummi Beach

Lummi Beach

Views from the road:

Yukon Rocks and River

Yukon Rocks and River

B C Winter

B C Winter

View from the Eliot Highway

View from the Eliot Highway

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.

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25 Responses to The show is almost over

  1. Jan says:

    The Rat Palace struck some deep seated remembrance of thing past with me. I guess it is a type of architecture that is found in many places.

  2. dale says:

    Oy, what a shame, to have what should be a happy event sabotaged so!

    Lovely to see the paintings. Again, I love the church, and you get those unearthly blues again in the night ferry one. I’d love to see them live!

  3. maria says:

    I can almost hear the sigh of relief in the title of your post. What an unpleasant experience for what should have been filled with celebration and joy. It was nice to see the Lummi Beach painting again!

  4. pauline says:

    Adding my own praise to your talents – my favorite is the sunset. The colors are gorgeous. As for the gallery owner, I would have “accidently” splashed a bit of sunny yellow paint in her direction, explaining as she spluttered that I thought she could do with a little sunshine in her life.

  5. Rain says:

    I enjoyed seeing the diversity of your work. It looks like you put together a thoughtful display to make visiting the show a pleasure. I especially love paintings of the region where an artist lives and visits. ‘Yukon rocks and river’ was my favorite as I love paintings of rocks and water.

    Your experience with the gallery owner was bizarre. I have never ever seen a time where having an artist working in the gallery wasn’t considered part of the promotion and expected that people would comment on the work being done if they like it at least. Perhaps she is in danger of losing the gallery and it’s being reflected in her attitude if she wasn’t like that before. I have heard the art business is in a lot of trouble for the average artists. The sales at the top of the line, artists like Van Gogh, are more investments than buying art for enjoying it.

  6. Friko says:

    I particularly like the chicken paintings and the Dodge Truck and I would certainly buy a picture from you

    Whatever the reason for the cranky woman’s bad manners, there is no real excuse for them. That’s not the way to sell paintings.

  7. Hattie says:

    I really liked several of your paintings. Since I do visit the Northwest fairly often I should manage to get up to visit you some day, or perhaps we could meet in Seattle. I would love to see you and your paintings in person.
    How really too bad about the gallery experience. I’ve had things like that happen to me with people who are at the end of their resources.

  8. Randy says:

    From a comment on James Kunstler’s blog today: (JIM) You and I are both painters. Let’s take painting as a bellwether. My gallery owner has not sold a painting (not just mine – anybody’s) in a whole year. He told me seven out of ten galleries in Manhattan have closed. The game is pretty much over. I’m much more interested in my root cellar and compost these days than in finishing my latest painting. And so it goes…

  9. beth says:

    Well, we have to paint for ourselves first. I’m really sorry the business-side of the show didn’t work well, because your work is lovely – I especially like the chicken triptych! – and it sounds like Ingrid was a good partner. The economy isn’t helping anyone, and tempers grow short. It’s sad when people in the arts can’t find generosity as well as beauty inside themselves; I feel sad for her and glad for you that you can be philosophical about it all.

  10. Marja-Leena says:

    I enjoyed seeing such a number of your lovely pieces all together here, the chickens and the rat palace are my favourites. It’s sad that the gallery experience was such a disappointment, I suppose it’s the tough economy these days as some others have said. But do keep on painting, Anne, for yourselves!

  11. Freda says:

    Must add my praise for the diversity of your paintings, they show great love and empathy for your surroundings. Wish I could see them in real life!

  12. Your paintings are gorgeous, every one of them, but my favorites are the sunset (those glorious blues!) and the Lummi Island church.

  13. Tessa says:

    Gorgeous work, Anne. I particularly like the chicken paintings, but they are all superb.

    Seems to me the gallery owner needs to rethink her career. Either she decides to paint in a lonely garret far from other people, or she expects and responds graciously to comments on her painting in public.

    If she greets every visitor the same way as you and your family, I’m not surprised none of the paintings sold. It certainly had nothing to do with the quality of the art.

  14. ernestine says:

    I like your paintings. I have always wanted to do this. With my new woods cottage finished – maybe – I could try. Sorry about your response from the lady painting. She sounds very troubled and wonder if her paintings show this?

  15. Ingrid says:

    Hey! Thanks for calling me tall and beautiful! The whole gallery experience was worth it now. Ha, ha!

  16. Natalie says:

    Anne, my favourite is the Granger Barn, lovely loose brushwork. The main thing is just to keep on working and enjoying it and developing one’s perceptions, one’s own visual language. Sometimes the subject matter can be too dictatorial. I mean, when we look at something and decide to paint it or draw it, the question is: what do I see in this? What moves me about it? Maybe it’s only certain shapes, a few colours and lines, not necessarily every detail of the scene. Not being too obedient or dutiful. My feeling is that you would enjoy being more experimental.

  17. wisewebwoman says:

    Oh those paintings Anne, lovely seeing some of them again, partic the church, oh I do love that one.

    It is tough economically but the owner needs to spend a little and be joyful or get out of the biz altogether, she’s doing no one a favour, least of all herself, poor thing.

    Have you thought of direct sales on line? Don’t know much about it, but depending on price I would be interested in buying a beautiful piece signed by Anne.


  18. Darlene says:

    It is really sad that such beautiful art work wasn’t snapped up in a flash. I wish that sunset were hanging on my living room wall. I also loved the winter scene and the deer and pheasant would have made my son drool with desire.

    A sour attitude does not go well with beautiful art and that gallery owner needs a personality adjustment.

  19. It seems like most people who react badly are often reacting to something going on in their own lives rather than anything anyone else did. She must be a very unhappy person.

    Beautiful paintings. I like the dodge truck and lummi beach best but they are all so nice!

  20. Dick says:

    What a wonderful collection, Anne! But how sad that you had to contend with outbursts of that euphemism for plain gratuitous rudeness ‘artistic temperament’.

  21. annie says:

    I am just catching up with all your posts that I missed. I love the pictures, all the animals. I can’t believe the rudness of the owner! I also enjoyed the birthday party post, I felt like I was there. I am glad you are well.

  22. I am enjoying your paintings, Anne, most especially the chickens and the storm rising behind the barn. You’ve captured the comical beauty of the chickens, which I love so about them. We used to raise chickens when I was a girl, and my mother always kept banties with the plymouths and the leghorns.

    I love the brushstrokes of the storm clouds. The dark colors roil about, like water at a furious boil. I’ve seen many a storm creeping over the horizon much like the one in your painting.

    Your work deserves a better gallery showing, and better tempered owner, than what you had. Keep at it, Anne – you’re good!

  23. Lucy says:

    congratulations on the show, but I should change to another gallery! Even if you don’t sell anything, the experience should be pleasanter than this.

  24. Lavenderbay says:

    Well, that was a sucky experience. I hate people watching me work, too, but in that case I avoid being seen. But refusing to have snacks at a vernissage — that’s just weird!
    Anyway. Really like the blues in your “Cow and Calf Moose” and “Whatcom Chief Sunset”. “Yukon Rocks and River” looks suitably cold, too; I hear they’ve already had snow in Whitehorse!

  25. The “Cow Moose and Calf” called to me and I think it was the contrast between the shiny brown curves of the two and the complex patterns of the tree branches behind them. The colors in the sunset picture are so rich!
    Regarding your comment: Heh! You knew *exactly* who I was thinking of when I wrote that little essay!

    Hugs from Asia, ~ Sil

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