Every artist paints one thing. It may take on lots of different looks but it is one thing. The thing picks you, really. I paint what I like to look at and nothing else. I only paint basically a few faces over and over. Everything I need to say is in those same faces. Everything I need to see is in those few faces. Look at Bonnard. he painted the same people over and over. Of course Modigliani did too. When you find it you are done looking and then you spend the rest of your life painting that one thing. One idea. the idea that haunts you every day. The idea that you love becomes your constant friend. I try and look at my work objectively but I cannot. it is a part of me and it is my style and how I breath and I cannot change it nor do I want to. The look is my whole life in a few brush strokes.
Someone came into the studio the other day and said Oh you do portraits .and they are all the same person. Well I guess so. At first I was thinking she was not a very astute person but the more I think about it, the more I think she is right. And perhaps that is the way it should be. I think each artist gets one gift of one painting and you spend forever painting it, over and over and you never get tired of it.
Do you get tired of looking at your best friends face? I don’t think so.
The relationship between the gallery owner and the artist is a delicate one. The artist has to trust that the gallery is not selling her work for more than she is saying. She has to trust that the gallery will not spend her cut of the sale before she gets it. She has to trust that the checks will always clear.
Some galleries have gone under and have absconded with both money due the artist and kept artwork. This happened in Portland recently. The Lawrence Gallery in Portland did that. An acqaintance of mine had many thousands of dollars owed him and they were unable to be reached.
If I owned a gallery I would treat my artists with great respect as they are the reason I have a sale in the first place. And artists are not a dime a dozen like everyone thinks. Each one is unique and nobody will ever be like them again. WE have a life that is not just learned but born into.
I don’t even know the future of galleries with the advent of the internet. I could sell off my website out of my house if I wanted to. It is not like it used to be- where the gallery had all power and you were lucky to be in their hallowed halls.
People overcome many horrible things in this life. They overcome physical and mental problems. They overcome defeat after defeat in their personal life. and go on to try again. They are the overcomers and they are what this country was built on. That drive to keep going even though it looks pretty bad.
I just spent some time at Soap Lake hiking around the rocky hills. I was contemplating the pioneers coming across terrain just like that with a covered wagon and a couple of kids. It was hard just walking up the hill. The rocks kept moving and you do a slip and slide part way up. The hills kept going up. wild roses were coming up. Don’t grab them to hang on. Branches broke and you would slide down the hill again.
My brother held my hand and pulled me up and kept saying. We are almost to the top. Who held the hand of the lead person on the wagon train? I kept thinking about them. After they got across the whole country they had to build a house from nothing with hardly anything and then chisel out a life.
Oh Pioneer, what stuff you were made of. the stuff of life. We have it so easy in comparison. But the one thing that we can never never overcome is our mind. the minute we think we cannot go on. we cannot. We only have imagined obstacles now. We do not have a river to cross physically with a couple of ox and your whole family must come across that river with you. People feel sorry for themselves to much now. Back 150 years ago nobody had time to feel sorry for themselves. They were too busy living. and getting incredibly strong.