Big Studio Sale

I think this ‘clear out’ is well overdue for me and many of my painter friends.  Our studios, houses, walls, cupboards, shelves, stairs and garages are STUFFED full of old work, obsolete ideas, half and almost-finished framed and unframed paintings, prints and drawings that may be ‘one-offs’ and ‘blind alleys’ but we just haven’t or can’t throw away.

Is this because we are natural hoarders or perhaps that we have a vain belief that someone will come along and say ‘I love that, is it for sale?’

It’s a tricky one- you don’t really want to ‘sell yourself cheap’ ( which is what you are doing). But one could say  ‘Why shouldn’t I leave the choice to the public’? If the work is something that was never sold when it was part of a ‘body’ of work or is something that I no longer find I need to use or even want to look at, why not make it available for others to look at and make their own judgement; they may  like it or it might even speak to them- who knows?

The other alternative is to paint over them and recycle- nice texture for another piece!

( After this Sale I will do that or consign them to a pyre.)

All these possibilities take COURAGE!

Many artists have strong principles about not showing anything that they really dislike or that is out-of-date in their canon. I actually enjoy looking back over my unsold work. Some were appalling mistakes and others just too ‘specific’- viz portrait studies and countless nudes. Do I want to show other people these mistakes and failures? How proud am I?

Also suddenly there’s going to be loads of space and maybe I could still learn from that dreadful painting I did in 2007? Who am I kidding?!

It’s just prevarication on my part and every artist does BAD work. I recently saw some pretty dreadful work by Cezanne and others at the RA in the Impressionists in London show- how reassuring that even Cezanne had a bad day.

So come and look at my mistakes- I’m not prim!

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