Reach out. Keep faith…
The world outside my studio is sparkling with diamonds. The snow on the ground looks like someone sprayed it with glitter. In southwest Saskatchewan where I live near Grasslands National Park, last night’s low temperature reached -35C/-31F. Today, ice crystals float glimmering in the air. Indoors where it’s warm, I’m chasing a leaf. A painted leaf. I’ve been chasing it for two days. I reach out a brush stroke, push the paint away, lift, swirl, swipe. Yesterday I swiped at that leaf for two hours and this morning I wiped the paint off and began again. Six square inches of colour. How can this be so hard?
It is. It isn’t. Despite swiping and wiping and no idea what I’m doing, I also know that in the end, if I have faith and keep on, there will be something there. Something that looks inevitable and right, as though it happened when the paint fell by itself off my brush.
And this is how to find gallery representation. Reach out, push away, wipe off, keep on. Have faith.
To find gallery representation you need information. Does the gallery you’re thinking about exhibit artwork like yours? Does the gallery exhibit artwork by artists at your stage of development? Is the gallery accepting submissions? Do you like this gallery and its staff? Are you showing them the right work? How many pieces? How long will it take to get a response? Should you follow up? When should you persist? When should you quit?
You also need support.
At the end of 2012, the dealer I had been with for 15 years retired. With a big solo public gallery exhibition to get ready for, I wasn’t ready to begin the search for new representation until mid-summer 2014. Now, six months later, my work is represented by the Assiniboia Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan, a gallery that was established in 1977 and had its best year ever in 2014. I’m very happy with the results of my search. My plan is to produce enough work for this dealer and then to begin a new search for a second one. I expect that again this time it will take at least as long and require as much reaching out and wiping off and having faith as chasing a leaf does. I’ve been in this art business for a long time. I know the practical, the hard and the right.
In a few weeks I’m going to re-open and launch my private artist mentoring program. If you’d like to get advance notice so you can decide if my brand of long-time experience and keeping faith is the kind of support you need in your artist’s life, just put your email in the box on the right to receive blog posts. You’ll be the first to hear.
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