Friday, October 1, 2010

Sunrises and Broken Glass

Fall is the time of year where we get the most fantastic sunrises you can imagine. If you are up and awake by 6:30 - 7:00 a.m. you can be stunned into reverent silence by the beauty and magnificence of the colors reflected on the cloud formations high above you. This is just one such sunrise this week...amazing!

I picked up one of my paintings from a gallery where it had been shown recently in order to place the painting in an upcoming show. The gallery had broken the piece of non-glare glass which was over the watercolor painting. It is a large piece of glass - 36" x 28", which is one of the reasons that a watercolor painting this size is quite expensive. When you count up the cost of the watercolor paper, paint, matting, glass and frame -  just creating and framing the piece can be quite a financial undertaking. 

When I called the curator of the gallery (who had not been in when I picked up the piece), she said that the gallery would definitely pay for the replacement of the glass as they had broken it in the first place. So I had another piece of glass cut for the painting, and took in the invoice today. She said she would give the bill to her accountant, and took my address and phone number. 

Two things are putting me a bit on edge here. First, the gallery did not call me to let me know the glass had been broken, and that they would pay for it. I found that out when I went to pick up the painting.

Second, I sensed a hesitation when I presented the invoice for the replacement glass. I had it cut where I have all my glass cut - at the cheapest place I have found, and believe me, I have searched for the cheapest! The invoice reflected exactly what I have to pay to get the glass to reframe the painting. So - I will wait for a month to see if I get a cheque in the mail.

The relationship between an artist and a gallery can be a very rewarding one - especially if the gallery is one that honors their word and pays on time. If that is not the case, you are FAR BETTER OFF walking away. How would you know if the gallery is honorable? Take the names of artists whose work you see displayed and contact them. Ask them questions about the gallery - and then choose wisely those you ask to represent you as an artist.

I am no longer interested in placing my work in a gallery just to say that I have gallery representation. If my work is in a gallery, it is because I trust the organization, and I know they will promote my work as one of their "chosen" artists. And if I can't find a gallery like that, then local art shows, internet sales, and my home art show will be the way that I promote myself.

My home art show is coming up very quickly. I am working on many new pieces for the event... more information coming up very soon!

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