...serenity in motion

Milestones of being a professional artist

Milestones of being an artist

Being raised by a professional artist is amazing and eye opening.  My mother would do a show for 4 days, come home and paint nonstop for 3 days and set back up for another the night of the 3rd day.  She would paint at the shows, draw pencil and pen and ink drawings.  Constantly creating, I remember repeated visits to Postal Instant Press to have cards and prints made.  She was prolific and sold her paintings for $75-$1,500 at show after show.

Her peers were doing the same thing and they always talked about milestones.  Because they were producing so much art, they had several different ones that they talked about.  One was finding a piece you did for sale at a thrift store, another was having someone come into your booth and recognize your work but not you as the artist.  There was another where one of your pieces was donated to a fundraiser by someone who didn’t want it anymore.  When something was donated to a fundraiser, it would be auctioned off silently.  People drinking wine would wander from offering to offering and write down their name and a bid.  Generally, the piece would go for next to nothing but occasionally; you would hear how it went for a shocking amount.

I had this last milestone recently.  I had given a painting as a thank you to a man who had helped me.  7 years went by and my life had moved on.  My husband and I had moved three times, my son married, and we were living in a different state when my new daughter in law told me about a painting her parents had acquired at a fundraiser.  She swore it was mine, but they were sure it wasn’t because the signature wasn’t the same.  Artists change their signature over a lifetime, and I am no exception.  She described the painting and sure enough, she was right.

Turns out, her parents paid a pretty penny for the thing.  Now, while I was a little sad that the gifted discarded the piece; I was grateful to hear that it had sold for the amount that it did.  I had reached another milestone.  Each one you come to tells you that you have been doing something right.  In this case, it means that I have persevered.  It also means, 10 years ago; my work was still pretty good.  Maybe, my son’s in-laws will become collectors of my work in the future? I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

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