That Thing Called Money

My figure drawing teacher Ronette is having an exhibition, and I finally went yesterday. I like to go when the gallery is quiet because her drawings requires a lot of time to observe. And now that I'm learning to draw, I've learned even more ways to see, and I had to check if she's practicing what she's preaching;-) This time around (this is the third exhibition of hers I've been to), she employed different techniques and different media, so there were groups of three and four drawings of several different styles/looks to suit the subject, I think. Small sea shells were in hard, pale, fine pencil lines, for example.

(The ones I really liked were sold, but I've always regretted not having bought some of her garlic drawings years ago, and yesterday I found out Ben was thinking the same!)

I was stunned and so happy for her that the majority of her work had sold. I can imagine many of her friends buying them in sets, too. And my initial reaction, seeing so many red dots as we approached her section of the gallery, was, "Woohoo, she's in the money!" I know it's a hideous reaction, but having been on that side a couple of times now, I do get excited for the artist/s when I see red dots at almost any exhibition, especially as the economy is said to be going south.

But I know how much commission this gallery takes, (and I've come to not begrudge this any more, but have come to celebrate their success, too,) and I can guesstimate the cost of frames and framing, (and she probably got a great deal,), and I know the weeks and months she agonized and worked and reworked the drawings.

I still get excited about opportunities to show my stuff; don't get me wrong. And I don't go cheap on fixtures and rigs, either, though I do reuse them. But I am amazed how easy it was to make a living working in an office; it was as if I was being compensated for having to live without exercising my creativity for all those years.



  1. Hi Meg,
    Re: "how easy it was to make a living working in an office," I used to think that way until I realized that office work was slowly bleeding my soul dry. My last office job was the very worst and I committed myself to never having to do it again. In the long run it wasn't easy at all, because I hated everything about it including the person I felt I had to be in order to make myself do it.
    Yeah, making and selling art is a challenge. But I'd rather be doing this now, and scraping by, than having more money in the bank, living for the weekends, hating Sundays because I had to go back to work the next day, being unfathomably bored day in and day despite getting the job done.
    No, it wasn't easy.

  2. Then, in lots of ways, I was lucky I had believed I was a real office-trooper all those years I had office jobs, Connie. I didn't mind them; some I even enjoyed, but then looking back, I kept adding something a wee bit creative to my job, thus overloading my job description and then became overwhelmed.

    I do wish I could make enough to scrimp and save and still live on, but I'm afraid I've been mooching off of Ben for 8 years now! Plus he has to build rigs and clamps and tomorrow he's going to bang some nails on the gallery wall before he heads off to work. I AM spoiled...


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