Posts Tagged 'visual art'

Are you getting paid for your art?

How many times have you shown your artwork at a  venue where you bore all of the costs of framing and publicizing your show, in addition to all of the costs and labor to produce the work? Non-profit venues get state money through their State arts boards, but most have no particular incentive or expertise that will help further your career. When you show in their spaces (and alternative venues, such as coffee shops and restaurants), you are enhancing their reputations or businesses, but often only adding a line to your resume. How frequently have your shows in these sorts of venues resulted in sales, introductions to prominent critics or collectors, or in some other way given you more than the “privilege” of gracing someone else’s walls at your expense? Our “Art Culture” asks us to compete for the honor and to feel grateful when it is bestowed on us. Is there another way? I think it is an important issue, one that many of us have pondered, often with increasing anger and feelings of helplessness. Go to to read a very informative (with additional links) article on Hyperallergic on ways that artists – visual and performing –  are attempting to change the pervasiveness practice of artists not being paid for their work or the use of their work. If you find this interesting, you can sign up to receive Hyperallergic’s newsletter with artist-centered news and information. I’d love to get your comments on their article and any relevant experiences you’d like to share!

Ready set go

Last night I made the panel for the new painting. I’m still having problems, despite my new vise that holds things into correct alignment for drilling, in squaring the support for the board. I don’t know if it is a fault of my measuring – though I do measure several times – that the panel itself isn’t square, my cutting, or some other problem. If I could afford to buy pre made panels, or to pay someone more skilled and with better tools to make them, that would solve the difficulty, but it irks me that I can’t seem to do better this simple carpentry task.

I’m at that point now where I have to just plunge in. I’ve collected images and made a collage, disregarding all of the lack of coherence as to size and position as the images relate to one another. In my head, there is the strong suggestion of how to proceed and it doesn’t involve waiting any longer. As soon as the gesso dries on the panel, I’m going to begin. Because I am trying to do something I’ve never done (and, really, when is that not the case), I expect it to be very difficult to begin, to continue, and to resolve. But the muse, if that’s what is driving me, is yelling in my ears, so much so that it’s hard to think of anything else. It’s like an earworm of music, a snippet of melody and lyrics, that won’t go away. And yes, I have that too!

Reading Eric Fischl’s Bad Boy

I am reluctant to finish this book, which has captivated, inspired and challenged me over the last several days. I am fascinated by Fischl’s ability to transcend social, personal, and art market obstacles to adhere to a conviction about his work that seems nearly heroic to me. It helps, of course, that almost from the beginning of his study at CalArts in the early 70s, he had the support and confidence of others whom he respected, even when they thought his work was not the direction art was going. He persevered and the work he produced since that time has a unity which he understands and intelligently articulates.

Fischl’s adherence to his singular vision makes me aware of the ways I have found to conceal the rawness of my own experiences instead of showing their naked truth in my  images. I am able to be fully exposed in my poetry, but I have not had the courage to make similarly honest images.

Meanwhile, my dreams are intense right now in response to Fischl’s book, calling up events and images that are demanding that I find a way to create them. Besides the courage, which I hope I will find, I need materials, space, and time. Is it time to apply for a grant again? Is there any point? Somehow, I know I will find a way to do this work. I know because I always have.

The Frog King

The Frog King

Her promise means nothing

a child crying for a lost

plaything crying

as children do coming face to

face with the world.

She would have promised anything.

An older girl

a young woman, though

the golden ball alone

a plaything

makes unlikely that possibility

might have laughed

abandoned the ball walked away


A promise is

a promise Father commands.

So he ate from her plate

drank from her cup slept

that’s what he called it

in her bed.

Now everyone says the naked

man in her bedroom is

a king, even though

the girl

the child insists he is just a frog.

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