I had an interesting experience the other day which I would like to discuss here, even though to do so would be revealing a huge crack in my online image. (I really am much more insecure that I project, as are most of the artists I know.) In other words, this is a soul-searching post, full of whining.
I was excited about finishing my most recent greeting card design (last post) so, as I often do, I took it around to my friends in Woodstock village for "show and tell." When I got to the art gallery a friend of mine owns, he took a look at my original, rolled his eyes and said... "Very nice. But really, Cynthia, I wish you would quit doing these cutsie things and get serious! You are such a fine artist and I want to see you do some real paintings." He went on to tell me, as he has before, of the type of subject matter he thinks I could be successful with. In the past he's told me to call him when I have 20 or more new paintings to show him. But instead I keep doing these "silly cards." My black and whites seem to be off his radar altogether.
Of course, I was a bit peeved because I just wanted kudos for finishing another design. But after getting home I began to think more deeply about what he was telling me. I do want to be bigger and bolder with my art. Making cards and prints is easy. It isn't very risky. A card is easy to produce and easy to buy. Since my style is very detailed and narrative, larger works are very time consuming. Oil takes forever. On and on. I am making excuses.
After much pondering, I have decided to finish the four card designs I have started to round out my quotation collection and then embark on a series of paintings and see where that takes me. I would much appreciate your feedback on this. Does, like my gallery owner says, my work inhabit that no-man's land of "sort-of sweet but not serious enough for a gallery" but "not cute enough for retail licensing?" Perhaps I've created yet another way to be invisible. I am such an introvert.