actually selling art in the Hudson Valley
Saturday, February 1 2014
It was substantially warmer today, with highs in the 40s. I took the dogs for a walk in the forest, gathering the dry dead lower branches from pines as I passed them. That's the best material for starting a fire that there is. Meanwhile, though, the supply of large pieces of wood in the woodshed continues to be depleted, with only about a quarter to a third of rearmost tranche remaining (in addition to the annex). It's looking like I will have to resume just-in-time firewood gathering soon.
In the early afternoon, Gretchen returned from a shift at the bookstore, we caged up Darla (so she wouldn't shit and piss all over the house), and then drove out to KMOCA, which was having its annual fundraiser. Art had been contributed by several dozen artists (including me) and each work of it would be sold for either 25 or 50 dollars.
When we arrived at a little after the 2:00pm opening time, the place was uncomforably full of people. Two of my paintings had already been sold, including that last of the humanoids, which had felt like a huge disappointment for nearly the entire time I'd been painting it. The gallery owners (the new couple who is just taking it over, not Deborah and Michæl) had priced that one at $50, but apparently that hadn't been a problem.
Having made such an auspicious splash, it was amusing to have random conversations with other artists and even gallery owners where they seemed to be addressing me as though I was a real artist. It was a good feeling to have, but I felt like an imposter. As the afternoon went on and I drank more and more wine, I did my best to impersonate an artist who wasn't especially surprised that my paintings were selling. But inside I was overjoyed. When I'd been painting those paintings, I'd hated each and every one of them and had, as I'd toiled, wondered if perhaps I shouldn't have been asked to contribute to the KMOCA benefit in the first place. On some level, my relationship with KMOCA has always felt a little nepotistic. I am the husband of Gretchen, who is a big supporter of KMOCA and huge friend of both Deborah and Michæl. I've been given the opportunity to show work at KMOCA on several occasions in the past, but none of my works has ever sold. And neither Deborah nor Michæl have ever said anything good about my paintings; what they prefer are my inventions (such as the brownhouse and the laboratory urinal). But to sell two paintings so quickly at the benefit seemed to vindicate my inclinations to paint. Maybe painting wasn't a foolish waste of my time.
Before the sun went down, all five of my paintings had sold. The only thing remaining was my 20 inch tall humanoid sculpture, the only contribution that seemed to excited Deborah. Of course, I could see why nobody wanted that thing; sculpture takes up three dimensional space. People pay $100 per square feet for indoor real estate even in the Hudson Valley, so why would they put something worth $50 in a $100 part of that space?
Eventually Nancy and Sarah the Vegan showed up, and I spent a lot of time alternating between socializing with them and socializing with the KMOCA people manning the cash box in the back room. There was an artist back there who had made sensitive paintings of the various disembodied parts of songbirds, but I felt my inner vegan rebelling when he and the new KMOCA owners started waxing rhapsodic about eating the greasy corpses of Canada Geese (which the artist dismissed as "White-tailed Deer of the sky").
Our contribution to this fundraiser wasn't limited to the art I'd made for it; Gretchen also bought $300 worth of art, including one of Susan's rabbit paintings and at least one article of clothing made of Tyvek from an artist known as Mau.
As always happens at KMOCA, the evening dragged on, the crowd thinned out, but we stayed there because we're friends with the people who run the place (though, since the handoff to the new proprietors was taking place today, this would be the last of those occasions). Eventually Gretchen and I drove down to Rosendale to attend an opening there at Roos Arts. It was an affordable pottery show to benefit an entity known as the Women's Studio Workshop. That place was as crammed as KMOCA had been a couple hours earlier. After eating some good-looking (though flavorless) chili, I was ready to go, so we drove back to Kingston and rendezvoused with Michæl, his wife Carrie, and Debroah at the India Garden on Albany Avenue (our new favorite Indian restaurant). We had a fabulous alcohol-free meal, though I think the spiciness directions got mixed up. Instead of the "Indian hot" ending up on my chana masala, it seems it ended up on Carrie's Pad Thai instead.
Poor Darla the Dog, we'd left her in a crate the entire time we'd been gone (from before 2:00pm until around 10:00pm). In so doing, we spared ourselves all the trouble she would have gotten into (fights, eating cat litter, and shitting and pissing throughout the house). We also learned something: she has more control over her biological functions than she lets on. She had not defecated or urinated in her crate. Evidently she understood the implications of doing such a thing and had decided against it.
For linking purposes this article's URL is:feedback
previous | next