Friday, June 28, 2013

Telling Stories Artfully

It's been a while since I have done an art show.  Outside of a few wedding commissions--which were a lot of fun, and just lovely to work on--I've been thinking more about promoting When You Are Camping than I have been thinking about creating and displaying "fine art" pieces.    I had forgotten how many paintings I've done over the years and slipped away into cold-storage!  It was time to get them out into the air and to find them good, appreciative homes. 

The annual Yart Sale at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts is a laid back art fair where folks come for bargain art prices and artists set up booths with the express purpose of decluttering their studios.  Perfect. 

The scary thing about displaying paintings is that you have to see and hear how people feel about your work.  The exciting thing about displaying paintings is that you get to see and hear how people feel about your work.  Just like in most of life's instances, I've found that it's best to expect the worst and therefore avoid a lot of disappointment...and find yourself happily surprised from time to time. 

I was happily reminded this past weekend at the Fair that people are so delighted to stumble upon themselves and their story.   To come upon a painting in which they see themselves absolutely thrills people, and in that way, being an artist is a little bit like being a writer, and a lot like being a

librarian.  It's about connecting a person with the story that resonates deeply with their experiences and with the person that they are, the person that they used to be, or the person that they wish they were.  Perhaps a piece of art simply recalls a moment.  But even that moment has a beginning, an end, a reason for being, and a reason for being remembered.  And perhaps it is the smallest and briefest moments that most need capturing on paper or canvas so that we can keep them closer for just a little while longer.  How happy people were to take home a painting of a house, a library, a street, or a farmer's market. These paintings I had slipped out of sight and mind for any number of reasons, finally finding a place where they will be loved and appreciated.

So here's to painting pictures, telling stories, and helping stories find their proper home.

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