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My son asked me, "What does it feel like when you sell a painting?"
The question made me pause a little.
He added, "I mean, it's part of you. Is it like letting one of your babies go or is it about the financial reward?"
The question brought back memories of the first time I ever sold a painting. During the summer between my freshman and sophomore years in high school, I would go to the historic Stockade district in Schenectady NY along the Mohawk river. This was an English and Dutch settlement with 17th and 18th century buildings. There were charming, narrow streets with brick and clapboard homes and iron gates. I would find a good spot on a curb to sit for a while with my water colors, and paint some of these street scenes. I was successful selling these small works at a Stockade Art show held on the street at the end of summer. Most likely my display was a rather pathetic card table, but that didn't seem to matter to the people who loved the Stockade and my little watercolors. Imagine my excitement over my first paying customer who wanted a dialogue about my art. Seeing that I could make people feel happy with my art was something I had experienced from early childhood. But in that moment, selling my art was thrilling and validating.
Today, so many years later, that feeling of reaching an audience is just as exciting. When my art stirs up an emotional response within a stranger, a connection is formed. Perhaps with a shared experience or vision.
"I love these."
"These are so calming, peaceful."
"I want to live inside these paintings."
A meaningful human connection through my work is my reward.
Selling is what allows me to continue.
Years ago I walked the plank, believed in myself, and jumped.
And so, in answer to your question- It's a wonderful feeling.
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