Why I love it when my work doesn’t sell.

Today I collected 4 paintings, (that included my favourite pink paintings) that didn’t sell at a charity event. As I put the paintings in my van I tried to reassure Emma, the lovely event organiser that I did not see this as a rejection. This is why.

There was the time my work was put forward for a Hotel project Saudi Arabia but they wanted larger work than I was currently making. I made the larger work, but the company did not select my job for that project. Initially I felt the pangs of disappointment and then I realised I had been wanting to increase the size of my work but I was hesitating and this was the push I need. A week later I sold two of those paintings.

Six months later came the Art fair where I only made enough to cover my costs. By this stage was keen to make even larger work but I couldn’t source any paper large enough. Then on the last day of the fair a man approached my stand and asked me what paper I used to paint on. It turned out he owned a paper company that supplied retailers and Artitsts directly and his was the only one that sold the size of paper I needed. I bought the paper, made my largest work to date which sold at the next Art fair I attended.

Last week I stood in my garden enjoying the spring blooms and thought ‘i’d love to run a workshop were others could enjoy my garden too, but I don;t know what content I would teach.’. As I closed my van door today and thanked Emma for including me in her event. I thought to myself, ‘I wonder what the universe will give me this time?’ and that’s when Emma said ‘if you ran a workshop I’d be there in a heartbeat. I want to learn to do what you do.’ And there it was. Thank you universe.

So why do I love it when my paintings don’t sell? Because I know that the universe is likely to offer up something more valuable than notes in my purse.

P.S.

I just sold my favourite pink painting.

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The Thing About Gratitude

It’s been a while since I spent some serious time in the studio (school holidays will do that to you) and I have begun to feel a feint yet familiar feeling of discontentment and I am wondering whether this is due to the lack of Art making. It could be the result however, of having my children up in my grill every hour of everyday for 7 days! 


I have learnt in my journey through depression some years ago that at the heart of it was discontentment. A feeling that things should be different to how they presently are. Underneath discontentment is the absence of gratitude.


So this week while I look at endless photos on social media of others on their exotic and event filled holidays and feel a pang of jealousy as I paint yet another garden fence, I remember how lucky I am to have a garden filled with beautiful plants, every one planted and nurtured with my own hands. I feel gratitude that I got to paint the garden fences with my girls along side me.

As I feel guilt that I have not taken my children to one single park, attraction, exhibition or event this week I remember that we have enjoyed every lunch and dinner sat at the kitchen table and giggled about something that will be forgotten by tomorrow.


I feel regret and anger that I have not spent more time in the studio but then I realise this has given me time to reflect on my work and what my priorities will be in the future.

As I feel slight shame that my children have played Roblox for hours every day I replace that shame with gratitude for the unscheduled relaxed and slow week that we have had.

Fostering gratitude is not always easy and has taken a little more effort than usual this week, but I know that gratitude is the only path to joy, and so onward I go, practicing this habit of gratitude until it becomes just that. Habit.

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