Gallery Artpost at Itty Bitty Lakes

Gallery Artpost at Itty Bitty Lakes
Our home, gallery and studios


My wife, partner and soul mate is Kay. Between us we have a rather large extended family that give our lives joy and purpose. My Mom Mary Lou Church, an activist in her own right often helps out with the gallery. My sister Dr. Cindy Parker and brother in law Dr. Steve Shapiro live and work in Baltimore but spend as much time as they can with us at Itty Bitty Lakes. They are constantly making our lives fuller. Kay has three and I have one active and one inactive wonderful children. Between us we have eight active and two inactive grandchildren ranging in age from two to almost sixteen.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Do I Create One Masterpiece - Or Lots Of Little Works?

Fish Songbird Home in Rocky Mountain Juniper and walnut
It is time to talk about art, creativity and some of the decisions needed to constantly balance creation and business.

On the rare occasions when I create something that virtually sings, friends and family will suggest, “Why don’t you make fifteen or twenty of these? It will really give your gallery a wonderful statement.” Invariably they will be talking about a sculpture that took several months to create.

Some artists make small inexpensive work. Some artists only do grand major pieces. I have always been caught in the middle. I must confess I am a slow creator. Most people think that creating art is similar to making fast food. Pop those puppies out as fast as possible and you will get rich. For some craft persons that actually is how they operate and I am in awe (of course they are almost never rewarded with the “rich” part). To pull this off it takes repetition and the creativity takes a very back seat.

Having never broken into the big time I have always needed small and inexpensive pieces of art to pay the daily bills. The majority of my customers are not wealthy. Smaller work or reproductions are a way someone who appreciates what I do can afford to both support me and to take something home to enjoy.

However, I am obsessed with creating major, life size and monumental works. Why bother with a work of art unless it can be the very best I can do?  My very best requires uniqueness, visual movement, manipulating my mediums to the max and great attention to detail. Creating a work with the above elements takes a huge amount of creative thought, experimental time where an idea may hit a wall of impossibility and large amounts of time, money and attention to details. For these works I must charge at least a reasonable sum and quite often quite a lot (sometimes simply to make minimum wage).

So you see my quandary. If I work months or years on a piece, there will be no time to make the quicker more sell-able works. If I make the smaller pieces I stand a greater chance of enough sales to pay some bills, but have no time to create the works I love and that really move the passions within the viewer.

Doing both is my only logical answer. The smaller works must be the best I can do within the work’s limitations too - so – there is never enough work finished in one place at one time.

As an artist I must be true to self. I must continue to love what I do.  Now I must find the time to pull it all off.

"Entessence" 15' x 10' x 6' Rocky Mountain Juniper

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