Saturday, November 17, 2007

Farewell Summer

The title of this post is not a reference to the weather- summer has been well and truly over for a month or so in Shanghai. It's a reference to the fact that on Thursday night I sold this painting, titled 'Summer':

It is a bitter-sweet feeling to sell something that is so much a part of me- I sometimes say my paintings are like my babies. You put so much work into it, blood sweat and tears, and then someone comes along and says: "Yeah, I'll take it" and just like that, your baby is gone.

Don't get me wrong, this is what I want to do, but when the euphoria of having a near-stranger fork over a wad of cash in a bar (a transaction that felt distinctly shady!) wears off, I am left feeling a mixture of elation and grief. Will they love the painting? Will they take care of it? And what happens in a few years? Will it be passes down as an heirloom (unlikely) or dumped in a moldy basement somewhere?

Perhaps this is an artist's version of Empty Nest syndrome. My babies are going out into the world on their own.


jayenems said...

"What would it be like if one day, I was to put down my bag of burdens? What would it be like if one day, I was to throw away my bag of burdens and start collecting those precious things in my life that are necessary to me? If every breath in my life started to take on a meaning? If I became as dedicated to this joy as a moth is to light?

What would it be like if I became addicted to clarity? If I had the perseverance to seek the Truth in my life, to persevere like does a river that flows day and night. Never wanting to take a break from it. Never coming to a stop and saying, "I am tired of flowing.”

What would that be like, if I, in earnest changed my attention from what isn't to what is? What would it be like if I could abandon my bad habit of appreciating those things that I don't have anymore, and accrue a habit of appreciating those things that I do have in this existence?

What a surprise that would be. What a surprise it would be, that I fell in love with simplicity. That I fell in love with that joy. That I fell in love with that peace, that I fell in love with that tranquility in my life."

jayenems said...

PS: Meanwhile, back in Oz

Best of 'luck'....

Mia said...

I think it's an artist's thing. Lord knows I can't even draw a stick figure to save my life. But my mom that's another story. Everytime she sells or gives away one of her drawings it's pretty much as you've described. I guess it's true it's a labor of love and you are giving a bit of yourself away when the object of art is gone.