when art sells

When art sells it never feels the way I would imagine it to. There are pieces I have made and fully expected them to sell immediately just based on how incredible I felt about the piece. If they take some time to sell, by the time they do go I feel a sense of relief. I'm wondering if artists are surprised by how they do or don't feel when they sell art. Have you ever sold art and wished you hadn't? Ever felt chagrined at the price it went for? Had a thought of thank god now I can pay to have my car fixed or my teeth cleaned? Just plain happiness and not even because of the $$ but more that you expressed yourself and another human being understood it enough to want it? (I always feel the latter mixed with relief and surprise)

The gallery emailed me today that I had sold one of the puzzle assemblages that is currently there. I felt relief. And then tears slowly sprang from my eyes, pushed out by an emotion that felt something like pain. As if the universe is saying 'see you ARE an artist you idiot'. As my brain said, 'but I can't make art right now'. 'what if...what if...what if I can't make more?' And the judges....the whole kit and caboodle of them who reside in the center of my cortex all sat and made disapproving sounds at the thoughts that never seem to cease.


sarala said...

Of course you're an artist. Tell your brain to shut up already.
Keep up the good work. I'll be in touch.

Daphne said...

I have found this first year of showing and selling surprising in that none of my feelings have been simple.

I never would have believed it if someone had told me that opening nights could feel so anti-climatic.

I would have thought they would be terrifying and exciting. But feeling like the best part (the making art part) was behind me was a shock.

And every time I sell a piece I feel like I'm selling part of myself. But the minute it's at someone else's house I'm over it.

It's ridiculous...

Shelby said...

Yay!!!!! Happy Monday :)

KJ said...

All the above, at one time or another. Most recently, it seems to be mostly black and white text and numbers attached to a check... I don't always associate the actual painting with the fact that it's gone. It's later when I see it's image in digital folder and realize I'll never see it again... don't know where it is, if loved or respected... or disagreed on. I'll never know. That's the hard part. My kids marry and leave, but I don't lose them. I'm in touch and know how their lives are going... not so with my paintings.

Sometimes I find a fav has been returned from all it's opportunities... no gallery could sell it. Most often it will be overpainted and shipped out again, but sometimes it's an example of the best I can do... and I add it to my own collection... happily, as if a secret between us... "they just don't know how wonderful you really are."