Saturday, January 14, 2012

Framing, Up Past Midnight, Them: Second Thoughts

I was up well past midnight framing a show of drawings for a restaurant in Everett, WA. I framed 27 works, mostly 18x24 drawings, and pastels. Its in The Sister's Restaurant, and is curated by a woman named Lyssey Hyder, who asked me to show some work as she likes it, and I appreciate that she does, so i did.

I had trepidations, as its Everett, not a gallery, and not really a great place for showing work. But its just drawings, I figured, so i thought, what else am i doing? It can't be that bad of a place.

I looked it up, people love the food. Its next to the coop- brought back memories of Olympia and other food co-ops before PCC took over the world. So i had in my mind, a sort of funky hippy place. Which it is. But i thought, well, it can't be that bad to show art.

Well, actually, it is. I drove over in the rain and sleet with all my drawings seatbelted in my 3 cylinder Subaru (had 4, one's not working), and arrived. The walls are painted probably in the three worst horrible colors I have ever seen, almost like someone knew i was coming. The lighting is up 20 feet and is 8 foot fluorescent lights. There is wood diagonal lattice up on one wall. One wall is pale yellow. One is orange. One is lime green. One is bright red. One is brick. There is cheap mdf trim everywhere. It could not NOT be worse for showing art. It sort of broke my heart, but i admired Lyssey asking me, and she has good intentions, and was there, and so, well, she took it in and has, I think, hung it.

She said she'd been unemployed a year, and that set the tone for the rest of my day. One bad, sorry tale after another. Galleries closing. People without work. I go to half priced books, some woman is arguing about trying to get another dollar for her DVD's. At the library, the librarian says she is glad she has her 20 hours as her husband is out of work and they would be without insurance. Lysussey says her friend, and architect, has been looking a year, and found nothing. She herself, who is Russian I think, could find no work, and finally out of desperation took the first thing she could, at $10.03 an hour and is thinking of going to another country. I meet a guy at the bookstore, my age, a carpenter, who just cut his long hair in hopes of someone hiring him, but there's no work.

And no one buys art. And it seems so damned superfluous. Not that i sold any, or knew how. But always, i thought i could. Now, I can't. Lyussey says i price everything too cheap at 100 bucks. So we bump it all to $250. I know what that means: no sales. Not that i need them, i just don't want them stacking up. Truly, if someone loved a piece, really, or only partly, i would want them to HAVE it,  that;s worth 100 bucks. Less commission. But then, Lyssey, at 25%, would make nothing. What a weird world!

All of this is just how it is. I have never, in my life, worried about this sort of thing in the same way, and certainly not seen it. When the so called Depression hit- i thought, this is a Depression? Where are the breadlines? Now: i  see them. Across the street from the gallery, in the sleet, are people in a line, at 10 in the morning, smoking, waiting for something to open. Its the weekend, what the hell? But its the poor part of town, and depressing as hell.

My wife loses her job, and our insurance, and my job is tentative. I suspect that's the tale all over. So, some people get through it i guess. It's just not the same as i sort of, absent mindedly, expected. All that hard work, all that frugality. And avoiding doing what I MIGHT be good at if i gave it some time. Which is what I do, make drawings. Read about Bonnard. Cut wood. And I figured I was bettering the race of men and women. And though my genetics stop with me, I figured I did my part. Now i think, well, to hell with it, its more complicated then i thought before. I want to get through all this, see the other side. Feel it deeply and positively and think, its alright, this is all ok, and move on. To the next world. Well, i am not religious. So I just mean, go to sleep without all these worries.