Episode Two: Saturday afternoon
I headed back to the same location with my "rain check" in hand... and a renewed desire to get back to finishing yesterday's business. Everything was relatively the same with regards to lighting so the painting moved along nicely and finished without difficulty and finished in just over an hour. During the relaxed part of this painting process... my mind drifted about considering a lot of concerns and impressions that I have observed over the past few months.
Strange... how the plight of this one small church seemed so different than larger ones in more populated areas around it. What was it that enabled it to continue to function in the same manner as it always had... in the face of the same environment of financial woes and social changes that had challenged and finally defeated larger parish churches?
Things do change in all aspects of life... and only they that are willing to change with the times can either grow or survive. I think that will be true also for working artists for the next few years. This weakened economy and the lack of confidence in the money markets will certainly shape future spending practices of even those with affordable incomes - the backbone of art sales wherever you live.
I think that Faith in oneself and a sustained strong work ethic must be key factors in surviving in the new marketplace. Keeping an eye on... and adapting to market changes are certainly essential as well. That doesn't necessarily mean abandoning your own process and choice of subject matter to become a "market painter." Being ordinary... or following the lead of others will simply result in being rolled in with the others. Buyers today are better educated... and more discriminating than in previous generations from my experience... so that offering fresh new ideas... drama and higher colour will attract the eye of these new patrons.
Look for new ways to present your own ideas. Expand your repertoire. Go out on a limb to experiment. Look to new places to visit... portfolio in hand... with new ideas to promote your work. Take a look at your pricing and gauge it according to your painting and exhibition experience and the quality of the work around you. Sometimes we artists are heady on... but not always totally realistic about "who"... and "where" we really are in this rapidly diminishing... yet more highly competitive art world that we live in at present.
How strange... that a quaint wee country church can evoke more than a subject to be painted! When one is painting... en plein air.... there exists a space for such contemplative thought that normally is absent in the studio. Out here... all of the senses are enlivened... firing at full capacity. Out here... many of the worries... and the hurries and scurries disappear... allowing one to commune with one's soul. Painting should really be just that. Painting "Ideas".... from the inside ....out... to be shared with whomever might care to pay attention.
This very special and infinitely large space is not ... just a single church. It is a personal cathedral... without denomination or dogma... a sanctuary for celebrating and enjoying the gift of The Creator and His Creation.... and hence the title for this painting is simply...."The Sanctuary."
Good Painting to ALL!!!