What the artist thinks of you, the buyer

I haven’t even been a full-time painter a decade, but I’m on a decent trajectory. A lot of people like my work, and even I, the self-deprecating, wholly unstable and unhappy person I am, like what I do from painting-to-painting.

I also despise what I sometimes create. I try to limit myself from re-gesso-ing an entire canvas no more than three times. Sometimes good-enough has got to work in order to meet deadlines and sanity.

Recently at an art show a pair of gesso’ed-three-times pieces were being eyed, and I was ready to be done with them. Two people showed up simultaneously to take them home. A polite battle ensued and the pieces that caused me such grief were no longer mocking me in my tent.

When retelling this story to a friend, she chuckled and said, “I have always questioned what the artist thinks of me after I buy something she’s struggled with. Does she think I’m an idiot? Does the purchase confirm my poor taste?”

On the contrary.

We, the tortured artists, (I am going to take a risk and speak broadly here) do not question your preferences. We do not laugh at you in our heads. We aren’t rubbing our hands together behind our back thinking, “dumb ass.” We are truly moved that you love the art and you love us as an artist. We feel silly we question ourselves to an extent teetering on insanity. You have made us want to continue pursuing art and maybe, just maybe, pursue yet another self-help book on confidence issues.