"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Ghosts of Christmas.

My old friend.

I see dead people.

In the upper Midwest if you don't have snow it just doesn't feel like Christmas - in Minneapolis we've had very little snow, and that can be depressing for some.  This morning there were flurries, so a little spark of joy was felt in my Scrooge'd-up heart.  I'm not really a Scrooge, am I?  Who wants to be a Scrooge - unless you can get to see ghosts ...

The other day, I discovered a quaint little shop in the neighborhood and asked them if they'd be neighborly and accept some of my piled up artwork to sell in the shop.  I mentioned I wasn't interested in making a profit - I just didn't want my work to rot away ...

The owner was delighted, asked if I could bring in the paintings right away, and so I returned home, packed up a couple dozen items and returned.  I presented them, and she was thrilled with the work.  As I was leaving, she immediately began to set out the little gems all around her shop.  I walked by late that night and spotted a few pieces hanging on the wall, "They mixed well, I thought ..."





The next day I came to photo some of the work I had not yet catalogued.  I looked at the pieces and noted the pricing was barely a third of what I have sold items for in the past - even privately, that is outside gallery representation and retail markup.  As I looked more closely at my 'collection' with daylights fresh eyes, it seemed to be broken up - the individual pieces disappeared and no longer related to the 'continuum' I imagined they had, or what I felt made them a collection.  I suddenly felt ... anxiety.

Really?


I discussed my situation with a friend, only to be scolded.  "You're always like this.  You are too precipitous.  You jump into things without thinking them through."  The worst was, "This is why you are not a successful artist."  I begged him not to torture me with what I already knew.  I already knew that I sell myself short ... always have ... and I live in a dream world of rabbits and hermits and sprites and lights and in that world every little brush stroke means something.  Every little highlight becomes a golden thread in the strange tapestry which cloaks a naked, ignorant, little homeless kid - a ghost of Christmas past.

Interestingly, my critical friend told me I was seeing what my 'stuff'  (I know! 'stuff' - he's seen Devil Wears Prada - he should know better!) will be worth after I'm dead.  It will end up in an antique shop or junk shop, at bargain prices, to be sold just for the frames or to recycle a used canvas.  He said he was simply being the ghost of Christmas future, and telling me the truth.  I was afraid of that - which may help explain why I'm this eccentric guy painting crazy stuff for imaginary galleries and museums to exhibit after I'm dead.

The shop owner is so nice and so kind - she's the one doing me a favor.**

I guess I have to let go of my ego, my possessiveness, and go out and buy a Christmas goose for the Cratchit's before Timmy dies.

What?


What do you want on your tombstone?




Song for this post here.


**(And at the end of the day - today - the prices ended up to be just right!  It's a Christmas miracle!)

27 comments:

  1. Good grief. With friends like that, who the hell needs enemies.

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    1. Haha - like George said to Clarence - it figures I'd get an angel like you.

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  2. I feel the same way about my baking. I put so much time and imagination into it that it becomes an extension of me. When people aren't as excited about it or 'get it' regarding the amount of time I spent on it - well, it's like they are dismissing ME. Intellectually I know that's not true but my 'inner child' still hurts. We all want to be loved - it's the human condition.

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    1. Yep - that's it. Reality bites. I'm fine now - it was just such a come down for me though. The woman who owns the shop is an angel - even to take in extra sytuff at this time of year is pretty generous.

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  3. Terry,

    Any way I could buy a little painting from you? That little Morenita looked so precious to me it made me sad to know she is not here with me. :)

    Be of good cheer my friend as you are respected and appreciated by many of us here who visit you often.

    Have a blessed and holy and joyfilled Christmas!

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    1. If you like it - it is very affordable to buy through that shop:

      http://blramsey.com/ - just contact them with the information I posted here on my art blog: http://upyourstreet.blogspot.com/2015/12/first-update-in-year-unbelievable-deals.html

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    2. Thanks much, Terry. I will contact them by phone if they post a phone number on their site.

      Buon Natale!

      I'll be sure to let you know how it works out.

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    3. Sweet - here is the shop # 612-709-2536

      It's a deal - never sold stuff so cheap. It will make the shop owner happy!

      Happy Christmas!

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    4. Terry, I looked over their website and see none of your artwork so I sent them an email to inquire as to how I might view them and make purchases. I don't want to spam your topic here so will contact you via email if anything comes up.

      Thanks again!

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    5. You are fine - I told Marta you's be calling gave her your real first name. They are uploading my stuff as I write this.

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    6. Thank you so much!

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    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    8. Madonna and Child are going to take up residence with yours truly plus, I picked out some other pieces as well. I am going to get them all blessed when they arrive.

      I am happy. ^^♡

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    9. I'm happy for you - and I think the merchant is too. Thanks Yaya!

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    10. Dear Terry,

      I am going to treasure those little treasures for as long as I live. I always hoped to Catholic art that was genuine by a painter who is Catholic and devout. When I saw your Madonna and Child on here, I knew the time was right and here we are. Know that those pieces will be cared for.

      Thanks again.

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    11. Thanks Yaya - that means a lot to me.

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  4. Let me buy your items from you, Terry (and I promise this time I won't give them as gifts to my favorite priests if that made you upset vs. my keeping them).

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    1. You are so nice - but really - I think they have priced things well - they are in the process of uploading my stuff now. It's nothing you have seen already - Nude Beach - Pig on the beach would maybe interest you. The shop is just down the street from the post office so you'd probably get it by Christmas. I have to honor the shop keeper, so I couldn't pull something out and sell it privately. As for the rest of my stuff at home - I don't have too much left except for the weird stuff.

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  5. The art market is the odd ball...not you. There is an ocean painter like me but much better...getting $10,000 a painting because he is with a great gallery in lower Manhattan that has a list of potential buyers who are making huge salaries in Manhattan....and they've spent $10,000 on one week in Rio. Now....transplant his paintings to a small gallery in southeast P.A. and the $10,000 painting might....might get $800 in that area of the US if it matched the sofa colors....but I suspect it would just sit there forever. Art price is about the location ( large city or wealthy suburb) and income of the buyer....rarely about the work. A given work will sell at several hundred in the country....$6000 in Manhattan or Greenwich or L.A.

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    1. You know what else? China. The Chinese will knock off any painting with accurate, detailed copies - for next to nothing. I also stopped into Pier One to look for frames and discovered they are selling original art - large canvases with whimsical themes and lots of texture and a few well painted details here and there. I didn't price them because I know they are probably Chinese and hugely affordable - so they knock off what is trending.

      The gallery/design market is hugely inflated - so in NYC nothing surprises me. I was accustomed to selling through designers and my prices were not as high as their mark-ups of course - they would double what I asked. In the early '90's I would sell small things for what my retail is today. But I'm fine with that now. I have given things away to friends and have never heard from them again and don't even know if they valued the work.

      Anyway - as a painter - you know how that goes.

      Then I have my idiosyncratic documentation of life in my head ... what will happen to those paintings? LOL!

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    2. I emailed the ocean artist, Thomas Pickering (google him...great) that I saw his exact paintings on an Asian website whose link I gave him.

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    3. Byron not Thomas Pickering.

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    4. Terry: I am honored that I have your St. Sebastian and since I am retiring soon many people ask me what I am going to do with the painting and I have to down size, I told them the painting goes with me no matter what.

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    5. I'm deeply humbled by that - and so grateful. Thanks very much.

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  6. Do you have any Little Flower paintings?

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    1. Not any longer - but I was going to do a sort of santos-cutout figure down the road. I have the board all prepared. You'll be the first to know. ;)

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    2. Eeeeeexcellent!

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