In a Quandary

ON EDGE…acrylic on canvas…40×30

I am in a quandary. As you know, I love to paint, but I also have found great pleasure in working with textiles again. And loving to paint also works into the fabric sculptures because I paint the fabric. Yes, I can do both, but feel I am at a fork in the road and should choose left or right and concentrate my efforts in that direction. If I return to painting on canvas, I would proceed in the direction of the painting pictured above…contemporary and texturized using a limited palette. I explored this type of painting in my Limited Vocabulary series, some of which were featured on previous blog posts a few years ago.

Why do I feel I need to make a choice? My personal feeling is the general art market will slow dramatically when the retail stores are free to open again. I currently exhibit my work in four galleries, all of them more affordable venues. I have done well creating work that fits their aesthetic and fortunately, have had good sales.The customer for this work may fade as so many are unemployed and others have needed to reevaluate their purchases to save more money for a crisis like this one that may reappear in the future. In other words, there are plenty of raven and landscape paintings in those galleries to last a very long time.

I have always done artwork for sale…to generate income. Fortunately, at this time in my life, the income isn’t a necessity and I can choose what to create. BUT, I will have a sense of accomplishment if I finish a substantial body of work in either medium, working in a series. And who knows…maybe the higher end art market may be viable again one day and I may be able to exhibit a cohesive body of work somewhere.

I have all the supplies I need to pursue either option. Below is the fabric I painted recently to use in the sculptures and it really inspires me….but paintings like The Edge that are scattered around my house are suddenly speaking to me also.

I fully realize that this is a minuscule quandary compared to the many people who have to decide between buying food or paying utilities. I could decide by flipping a coin, but art has been my career and now that I have the time without deadlines, I need to focus on the future and how I may be able to continue in the world of art as we all evaluate what our own personal futures may be. I don’t want to allow the economic downturn to wipe out any effort on my part to look for a possible avenue of opportunity in the future. I heard that a big part of luck is being prepared and I hope I am on the road to the right preparation, but it is still a crapshoot.

I will forge ahead, using my stay at home time as best I can. Hopefully, we all will remain virus free and will find our own best way to fill our time, keep ourselves calm and happy and prepare for the future, whatever that may be…from the studio

Some of my recently painted fabric

About studio18artist

A contemporary artist using canvas and cloth, paint and thread.

4 comments

  1. MimipetersonSilverCity

    This sounds so familiar.  I have been asking myself to choose or not to choose what media I should focus on.  But as some one said to me recently “you aren’t building a reputation or career at this stage”.  Meaning its all good.  Right now I been following book artists and beating myself up that I am not making books all the time.  I am however making paintings and feeling really good about that.  And when I’m ready I will make books and experiment with many other things.  I guess its about letting the work flow naturally.  

    Your abstract paintings to me are exceptional.  The are complex and direct.  I have always admired all that you do.  But for the artist it should really be about the way you feel about your work.  None of us need quilt trips of our own making right now.  

    I’m appreciative of Karen at the gallery.  She has been working on the website and our individual pages and has even sold one of my paintings while on lock down.  But I think it will be a long time before we will see art buyers coming out again.  What a mess all this is.  We are healthy and once in a while do a safe distance happy our with our neighbors. Silver’s small businesses are hanging on for now. 

    Mimi

    • Thanks for the support. I know we both really enjoy each other’s work in each medium and we both enjoy aspects of 3-D work and 2-D work. I am going to start with painting today and see where things go. Who knows?
      I am so glad that Karen has worked with the lockdown and sold a painting online for you. I hope there are many more.
      We are well and busy and enjoying the good weather. Aren’t we lucky to live in such a beautiful state…Sue

  2. I understand your quandary. I love working with fabric, but paintings are so much faster! Either way, your work is wonderful, and being fulfilled is most important. And you could stitch on paper!

    • Thank you…I am pleased with the results I have had with both mediums. I know I can work in both and overnight I decided how to develop a body of work with the woven pieces. That was a true conundrum for me. I looked at painting inspiration this morning and know what I will “circle” around with that series. SO…today I will start some paintings…background work and design. Tomorrow, who knows? Sue

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