"Departing," 18.5 x 25" various lightfast colored pencils mixed with solvents on 4 ply mat board.  The reference is from a series of photos I took as my 25 year old daughter prepared to board her plane to California.  The painting is about leave taking and letting go.  I may have gone a little crazy with all the details, right down to the turtle charm bracelet, which she has had since she was small enough to collect everything turtle, the safari bag she found in my closet, her high school back pack and the thrift store suitcase. I include these things because they are necessary to create an accurate portrayal of this cunning, free-spirited artistic person, whom I love beyond measure, in her moment.

Can we talk?

Can we talk?  Where are my clients this year?  Now that I am so much better and should command higher prices, I see fewer inquiries. I am currently running a sale which reduces my base price by $65.00.  This is drawing more browsers to my website, but so far no takers. The recession has changed many things. People don't see the value in original art work.  Potential clients grasp every dollar as if it is their last.  I understand this better than anyone.  (Another story for another time.) I'm less and less willing to go through my pricing and commission process. The attitude is that I can work miracles out of bad photos in last minute conditions. And that I should do it cheaper and cheaper! Where is the respect? Would you ask your plumber to work for minimum wage? Reproduction art is cheaper.  I have no problem with selling art prints, if they will sell.  The sad part is that the viewer will not have the same experience with reproduction art as they will with the original.  In the original, if you look closely, you will see tick marks, brush strokes, eraser marks, wipe downs- the back and forth of the creator's process. Though the print might catch the marks, it can't record the grit, the digs, the sweat left behind by hours of work. A good reproduction print on heavy rag paper, using light fast inks, is a beautiful thing in itself.  It is in essence the cleaned up version of the original.  But to own the original!  Now that is like owning a piece of magic. For enclosed in that border of wood, encased under the sheet of glass, is a piece of human experience perhaps even genius. So much more than a print!

Working in a gallery and frame shop I see clients who are more than happy to drop hundreds of dollars on framing, but walk right by the original art.  Even our top sellers, who show at multiple galleries are complaining about the lack of sales.  What gives?  I am itching to use my abilities, but find myself working on my own stuff.  It's fun, but I can't live off it.

Here's something new and different.

I have a beautiful silver leaf frame that needs to surround a painting.  I decided to try and create a piece that would look nice in the frame.  This is a difficult thing to do and not my usual source for inspiration. I decided that silver would look nice with a seascape, so chose this image from a file of photographs I took on Perdido Key in Pensacola Florida. The undulating grass is full of energy against the calm sea.