Two finishes

12x16 oil on stretched canvas

8x10 oil on canvas panel

Usually I'm giddy with joy at being here at the gallery and painting. Today's been hard. The changes in my life at home had me explaining "allergies" when visitors came in to find me sniffling. This afternoon a fellow came in saying he was on a scavenger hunt and needed to find someone to "paint his picture". (Meaning, 'free'.) Huh? I said I'd like to help but I was under lots of deadlines to get portraits done by Christmas. He persisted. He wheedled. I kept declining. He insisted. I finally said, quietly, "I said no." He turned on me then , leaving the gallery, half-shouting, "I'm telling everyone about you!" Huh?
Then an artist from another gallery came in and started critiquing the portrait I was working on. I didn't agree with her suggestion, but was polite and kept doing what I was doing. Then a visitor walked in and she asked, "Can I tell you another thing you should do?" I said, "No." Not taking no, she said, "It'd be a quick fix..." At that point, I told her not to do that in front of my customers and that I'd talk to her later, but "bah-bye now." It's wise that she left at that point.
Two people in a row who felt they could force me to do something I didn't want to do? What is it, my hair? Do curls indicate malleablity? My 60's African dashiki shirt? My initial politeness?
Who knows.
But then, soon afterward, two artists from the gallery next door came in and made me laugh and shared art stories and left me reassured that the world hadn't gone completely rude or hostile. Shortly following, someone bought one of my paintings to give as a gift. Nice.

Life is good. I've got lots of work, a home, family. A promising president elect. And most days aren't so hard.


Perform said...

It's the days that start like this that leave me wondering, "What did I do to tick off the gods?" or was it a full moon?
Susan, everybody's an art critic. Keep on doing what you're doing! It's working and it's great.

Paula Villanova said...

Sounds like "one of those days," but fortunately, you clearly know what you have to do to handle unwanted requests and feeback in addition to having confidence in your ability to know what you need to do artistically. Your work is wonderful and I'm glad you sold a painting after all that!

Anonymous said...

hi Susan,
I'm so glad you sold a painting after the bossy people dampened your mood! Good for you for being firm, and sticking to your own artist vision. You do wonderful work, and that's what people are expecting when they commission a Susan Carlin, not a 'Susan Carlin portrait with a little help from a bystander'.
i love the portrait of the little girl especially, so fresh. good work.

Angela Fehr said...

Thanks for sharing this, Susan. That must be the hardest part of having a public studio. Painting in my home, I only hear from critics by invitation. But I'm usually my own worst critic and a bad day means I wish I could tell myself "bah-bye!"

SharonWrightArtist said...

I love the way you dust off the cr*p and just get on with it. You are amazing! As are your paintings, every one.

K. said...

Some days there just seems to be something in the air. I'd never really thought about what a brave thing it is, to always be creating in a space where anyone can walk in and lend their two cents or make demands. I'm glad there seems to be such an upside to it on most days.

I don't think it's you - it's them.

Mary spires said...

Hi Susan, haven't stop by in a while....we're back in Florida and I have the place back in shape so I can PAINT....sorry you had a such a bad day...some people just think they know it all. In one of John Denver's songs he said "some days are diamonds and some of stones! So when I'm having one of those days, I remember it's a stone day.... So don't let anyone give you any LIP. I so admire your for doing Portriat work espically doing commission. If you can please those people that don't have a clue what it takes to do a commision, then girlfriend you are on the right track...Now that I'm back on fast internet I can't wait to watch one of your demo's......

Pattie Wall said...

I'd have to say maybe Beverly hit it on the head, it's the full moon. First - brings out the crazies, second makes people act rude or totally oblivious. (That's my true experience from being in the classroom with little children, they are the perfect barometers for what's to come, when there is a full moon. You would have to see it to believe it.) For now, keep telling yourself that you are above all this prattle and that you are the best at what you do. Cause you are! I won't be around for Tuesday, but paint 'em pretty -friend!

Jo Castillo said...

You did a great job on the portraits. The little girl is a sweetie. :) People are people and sometimes a pain in the neck for sure. You handle people well. Congrats on a sale, too.

Joan Breckwoldt said...

I'm sorry you had to encounter such rude people! I think they come into our lives to show us how blessed we are, you listed all the wonderful things in your life. It makes you glad you're not walking around miserable and taking it out on others, right?
Your paintings are lovely and I'm going to go check out your latest video,

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Susan,

I'm always suspicious of "critques".
It's so easy for what seems like a
positive suggestion to move into
criticism. This is the last thing
you need right now. What I love about blogging is that most people don't pick at each other's work -- they just affirm each other. Guess what? That's helpful. You are a fabulous painter. No matter what else is going on, hold that truth inside of yourself.

Take care,


ArtGirl said...

I've tagged you Susan....The rules are on my blog....