May 10, 2007

You Can Go Home Again, But...

2001 - Tannin - 60x36

2001-On the road again. This time no kids and only one mother made the move with us. Although we weren't returning to the same town, it was familiar territory and not far from previous homes in the state. I had a little history in the area, had done many a festival here, knew the art spots, even had a few old friends and acquaintances.

Just prior to the move, I'd been approached by a local gallery just opening their doors. They'd found my work on the web and made contact without knowing I'd be moving to the area. I took a look first chance and was delighted with the huge space, promising location and the enthusiasm of the owner. Six years later, it's still a good match. Once again, wheels I'd set into motion served me well. In this case, the wheels were not only my website, but the website I'd made for Mississippi Art Colony which is where her search for artists had lead.

I could have built a social community easily enough but the parameters had changed. I was no longer in search of a career, I was now employed with a passion. I'd done the social thing all those years as a military officer's wife, I'd never had a career other than family and I had built up a degree of momentum that could falter if I didn't keep pushing it. I was becoming very aware that it was now or never... the age factor was making itself known in the usual ways. My health has always been excellent, but bits and pieces have started to rust or require repair... minor things for sure, but energy absorbing... an element in short supply in any case. More often than not, I buried myself in my studio and surfaced only to care for family needs. Communication as well as community was through the Internet and I developed a strong dislike for phones. A 21st century hermit.


Now, if you believe all this came about with a bibbidy-bobbidy-boo, let me set you straight. No one is more sensitive to rejection than I... and there's been a lot of that over the years! No reason to dwell on it because, for the most part, I could/would find a work-around. Just as I would become somewhat established in one place, we'd be moving again... let me tell you, that's not easy! But the old 'one door closes, another opens' adage proved true.

This I have learned (for what it's worth):
--The work has to be right for the venue, if not, you've either got to change it or find a more suitable outlet.
--The more people recognize your name AND the work that goes with it, the more likely you'll be taken seriously.
--Always be in learning mode, especially when dealing with people who know their market. The artist is not always right... unless the artist wants to collect her own work.

Disclaimer: Nothing I have suggested is written in stone and may not apply to others. Just my point of view. Viva la difference!


meno said...

Thanks for this Karen. I keep going back through these last few posts looking at the variety of your work over the years.
It's been fascinating.

KJ said...

I appreciate, Meno... many thanks.

Joe said...

What is really weird is looking at your style and medium changes and realizing that as I look at each one it brings up memories of my life. Almost my whole life.

I say almost because we haven't seen any of the Tammy cartoons you did back in the mid-60's.

Karen McConnell said...

Dear Karen...
I have watched your website and read your blog constantly for a very long time. I admire you and your work very much.

I came to art in a serious way about mid-life and am completely self-taught and self-directed so it's very interesting and inspiring to follow your path in this way.

Having moved about the same number of times, perhaps more, due to a husband's career - I can very much empathize with how demanding that can be.

That's probably the most common ground we share but I just wanted to take this time to let you know you have one more admirer than you might have been aware of. : )

Thanks for the continuing inspiration!

KJ said...

Joe... The Tammy cartoons? Ahhh... the Tam-o-shanter covers! Geeze, you were in the single digits at that point in time! Good for you for remembering! As it happens, I've scanned them all and will point to them soon... thanks for the memories ;-)

Karen... I found your website and am very impressed. That notion of being self taught should be updated to having a 'self sought' education. Being able to pick and choose one's influences can be a real advantage. You done good!

Anonymous said...

Karen - I enjoyed reading a bit of your artistic journey. A year ago I promised that I wouldn't look back, I am focusing on today and it seems to be working. However, it is also now or never for me as well.