View Full Version : Bittersweet Feeling......

11-15-2010, 05:17 PM
I just came back from a gallery, and feel a bit unsettled......

I had an appointment with a gallery this morning, and I thought I would end up leaving two pieces for them to sell. I brought five with me, so the gallery owner could have a look at my work and pick the two he thought would do best in his gallery. Unexpectedly, he wanted all five, which is great, but I'm feeling a bit sad at the same time. If I sell a piece in an art show it's just one painting, and I still have the rest of my "babies" at home. I kind of feel like I've abandoned a piece of myself.....

It's exciting, yet unsettling at the same time.... Have others gone through this, or am I just crazy? On the one hand, it sure feels good to have someone look at your work and say, "I want it all, do you have more?", yet I walked out asking him to take care of my art, as it's special to me.

Weird, huh?

11-15-2010, 05:41 PM

but you will get over it as you sell hundreds and hundreds of your paintings - you won't even remember some of them when you see them years later-

that gallery owner only took all five because he/she knew they could make a buck on them - be happy, thats quite a compliment for your work - best of luck to you - and if it were in the Hamptons, so much the better - you're dealing with the upper crust!

'blue....' :thumbsup:

11-15-2010, 06:02 PM
I can understand it for sure. I've just sold a painting (the first to someone I don't know) and I'm sorta missing it and wondering if it will be appreciated in its new home!! I wouldn't swap it back for the cheque though!

Well done on the gallery wanting all five pieces. That IS a huge complement!

Kathryn Wilson
11-15-2010, 06:22 PM
Congratulaltions Chris! I feel the same way when I sell a piece - even more so when I don't know where it's going to. I really like to meet with the client and talk about the painting, but that doesn't always happen.

11-15-2010, 06:40 PM
Chris, congratulations! That's great!

Aw, if you feel the 'empty nest syndrom' -- paint new 'babies'! The sold ones are out there, brightening people's lives. Of course they'll be treasured, you're good, girl!

I got over it (real quick, but then, I'm kind of the practical unsentimental sort). I reinvest in my painting business, so when I get some lovely cash, I go shopping! New papers, sticks, camera, computer, that full set in a handpolished rosewood cabinet (actually, not that one, I use fishing tack boxes). Splurge! Shop-till-you-drop! And let your 'babies' do their 'magic' to other people's souls.

11-15-2010, 06:52 PM
Hey, I've got lots of "Babies" that I'd be glad to send your way if it'll help with pospartum pains.

11-15-2010, 07:22 PM
Good for you Chris. I have sold some paintings that I miss very much. I always make sure I have a good print of them or save them in the computer files in quality format. Funny.....when I am finishing a painting I can't wait to get to the next new one...but then, when you sell or leave them at the gallery you get that knot in your stomach.
I hear ya!

11-15-2010, 09:13 PM
I've sold three in the last two months that I want back and would even refund the purchase prices! One I just entered into the show for a prize; a different piece of mine won something, but my favorite went home with someone else.

The other two sold recently went home with a single buyer and I felt like she was browbeating me to lower my prices, then fiddled about on her check. I wanted to reply that if she didn't want them, I would gladly keep them!

Bittersweet, indeed. I certainly don't go through this all the time. Sometimes I think, "You mean you want to buy *that*?"

11-15-2010, 10:04 PM

Thank you! I really do take it as a compliment. I don't frame everything I paint, only if I feel it is "frameworthy", I'm pretty hard on myself. So, when I see something possibly slipping away, I get mixed feelings. But, I do have to learn to let go, as the pile is getting a bit high :o . The gallery is just outside Westhampton Beach, so yes, quite the area. Apparently during Thanksgiving weekend this gallery is having Don Duga, the illustrator that did Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, and Sesame Street display his work (some originals will be for sale also). He said it would be a big draw, and thought my work might sell also. I'll definitely show up to see the display. The gallery owner is actually giving me a wall to display my work that weekend. Keep your fingers crossed :crossfingers: .


Thanks so much! I have sold paintings to people I don't know, and it is a real compliment to have someone want it just because they like it. I tell myself if they are purchasing it, they will appreciate it. I do like the money, that definitely takes the edge off! But I know, you do have to wonder sometimes.....


Thank you! It's always hard when you don't get to meet the client, and this instance, if I sell any, I probably won't. I just have to keep telling myself that they're buying it because they really want it.


Thanks very much! I agree with everything you've said, which is why I agreed to do this in the first place. I definitely like the reinvesting part :evil: , shopping always agreed with me! It certainly gives me a reason to paint more!


Thanks! You really gave me a good laugh! :lol: (which I needed!)


Thank you! You make me feel like I'm not alone and not too crazy! It's good to know I'm in good company :D .


Thank you! I have had those exact things happen to me! Years ago, I entered a piece with a price on it, not really wanting to sell it, and ending up winning a Best in Show. Well, someone bought it, and because I had it up for sale, I felt I had to follow through. I don't regret it, but at the time I definitely was mixed about it. I've also been brow-beaten on price, and I actually pulled a piece off the market because the person wanted to pay so little for it. I told her that it was not for sale anymore, at any price. I don't regret that either.

Thanks so much everybody - you really did make me feel much better. I knew you'd understand. I love my hubby, but he doesn't always get it when I express this type of feeling. He says I can always paint more, and I'll just get even better at it (I know he's right, the more you paint, the better you get), and you can buy more supplies (good thing too!). But there is some feeling attached to what I do, and I guess there always will be. But you gotta let go, at least to make more room :lol: ! Thanks again!

P.S. I never feel this way about commissions though, I guess because it never was mine to begin with - I always view that as 'sold' right from the beginning, because it is.

pastel lover
11-15-2010, 10:29 PM
Congratulations! The gallery wanting all 5 of your paintings is quite an honor. And yes, paintings are a little like raising children...you nuture them & guide them in what is best for them. Then at some point you send them out into the world to touch other lives. It is sad but on the bright side...you don't have to pay for college and they seldom come back to live in your guest room.


11-15-2010, 11:01 PM
5 out of 5 accepted! You should be very excited and thrilled!

And yes, I think it can be very difficult to part ways with works that can really become a part of us. But as others have mentioned, the money can make you forget them! And the longer you paint, the more paintings you have filling up all the storage space you can muster - so it becomes easier to part with them. And with today's technology, you can get good photos and make prints if you want to keep a memento - as well as the potential for print sales. One thing that I did when I entered my first art fair - there were a few paintings that I didn't want to part with -so I painted a second version of each of them. They weren't identical, as each piece takes a life of it's own, but they were close. Theoretically, the second version should be better, as you have worked out the problems with the first! In my case, I kept the one I liked better and put the other one up for sale! Needless to say, I didn't sell any of them so now I have two of each cluttering up all my storage space!


11-15-2010, 11:24 PM
Chris....wonderful news -- congratulations!! WOW! 5 out of 5 -- you should be on cloud nine! :clap: I know the feeling you're talking about. I will have my first opportunity to show & sell my work in December and I'm torn....I'm not planning to show my best pieces because I don't think I'm ready to say goodbye to them. :( You keep painting those gems....they will certainly be treasured by the new owners. And get some shopping in!! Warm regards, Shea

11-16-2010, 12:25 AM
Congrats, Chris! What a compliment! I am so far away from where you are now it's like night and day, but I do think everyone, even beginners, put their heart and soul into their work...so to reliquish it to someone else is like giving a part of yourself away!

11-16-2010, 02:13 AM
I understand I just did some little paintings for the chimney exchange and I felt a little sad saying goodbye. However it is great that the gallery wanted all of your paintings and you will just have to do what Charlie sugessted and make more beautiful babies. As we put so much of ourselves into a painting it is a part of us that we send away. Just celebrate your success and hope they all sell for lotso money! Jen

Phil Bates
11-16-2010, 03:09 AM
Bittersweet...yes, been there.


11-16-2010, 09:45 AM

Thank you! Yes, it is a bit like children, without the boomerang factor :lol: !


Thank you! You are too funny - doubles! I can't seem to paint something twice, I think it's the "attention span of a gnat syndrome". What you say makes perfect sense. I have been painting for longer than I'd like to admit, and I have sold many times before, but I guess giving 5 up for potential sales is both exciting and bittersweet, sort of a 'slam', I'm gonna concentrate on the home run, not the knock out! I guess because I've got a lot of shows in the works through the holidays, my "babies" are all going to be missing at once for a long period. I actually did a spread sheet yesterday to keep track of them, and they total 24. Yikes! I really do hope some of them sell, I can't stop painting, and who has the room for that? The 24 isn't even all I have, just what I'm putting in shows at the moment. Gotta move 'em out!


Thank you! Congratulations on your show in December. If it is a ribbons show, maybe enter your best paintings with a "not for sale" note, just to see how they do in the show. :D I guess when you've accumulated as many as I have, it's time to start movin' 'em out!


Thank you! You nailed it - it is like giving a part of me away. It's part of who I am, and how I view the world. That is one of the reasons I don't frame everything I paint. If it's not frameworthy, it's not framed, and I won't sell it. When it comes time to sell, I obviously like the piece or it wouldn't be in a frame, and it is more difficult. Beginner or not, it really doesn't matter, it's just how you feel about your work. Thanks for understanding.


Thanks so much! Yup, what Charlie said! And yes, I do hope they sell for lots 'o money! Makes them feel 'valuable'.:heart:


Thanks very much! It's comforting to know that someone better known than I am is no stranger to this bittersweet feeling...... Makes me feel a bit better knowing that I'm in good company.