February 08, 2008

Talking About Art...

Oops!
Another perfectly good robe becomes paint victim to 'veils of color'...


So... I was talking to a contractor about having the popcorn ceiling stuff removed from several rooms in our house... a talkative, good natured sort of a guy. As things were wrapping up he pointed to a nearby corner and asked who did "this?" He seemed to be pointing to a small painting of mine and/or the sculpture standing next to it. I naturally, and wrongly, assumed the painting and announced that I did it... then it became apparent he meant the sculpture and motioned to another across the room, having paid no attention to the many canvases on walls and floor. At this point he became more interested in them... and pointing to a larger, abstract painting...

"You do this?"... I nodded, mentioning that it was my day job...

"You sell them?"... I nodded again...

"How much you get for something like this?" I pause, hating where this is going... then mention the four digit retail price, actually giving a figure a bit less for reasons I'm still not sure of.

He's stunned... seemingly speechless which isn't his style. I mentioned that's the gallery price and I only get half of that... he's still apparently shell shocked and I'm thinking I'm asking this guy to quote a price for work yet to be done and he's probably figuring I'm knee deep in unfettered moola.

I hasten to mention the nine g-kids and how my art money goes into their college funds... (and, to myself, replacing paint damaged clothes... )

Best he could come back with was the job he did for a lady with a chandelier made of steer horns which cost $1500... wonder how this played out later that night over beer with 'the guys'...

9 comments:

Kim said...

Karen, this is a halarious story! Of course we have all been there, but to just put it down in story form makes it all real. Of course the fact that we totally get it makes it all the funnier!

Oh, how I get it about the clothes! Gee, if only my non-painting wardrobe was as large as my painting one! :)

Thank you so much for making my day!

Have a Lovely Weekend!

marybuek said...

This has happened to me often, except my electrician actually bought two big paintings (tho' not in four-figure range yet) and my cleaning lady hands out my business cards to her other clients. Works for me -- you never know who is going to like your work, I guess. And the paint-splotched clothing -- well, I wear all of it but just don't go out. Thanks for being such a faithful blogger. Your site is a delight.

Daphne said...

Sigh. Don't you wish there were tax write offs for our clothing???

I don't need contractors to provide me with uncomfortable questions- at Christmas my Dad asked if I had considered doing portraits. I was crushed! He will never understand that abstract work requires any skill...and he keeps mentioning an artist in his office building who teaches painting classes-this woman and I were in a show together last year!

KJ said...

Looks like I hit a familiar chord... two chords, in fact! I know I'm going to get paint on everything I wear, but it's that first dab on virgin cloth that always gets ya! I've been known to peek into the studio dressed in full black crepe social attire and... pick up a brush!

I enjoy all your comments (even when I forget to answer...) nice to welcome Marybuek, enjoy!

Lisa said...

Yes - love the $/contractor story.

I'm happy to say I can't relate to the paint ruined clothes part. Although I do walk around all day with threads attached to me - very chic.

Martha Marshall said...

Great story, Karen! Been there. And the clothes? Yes to the black crepe issue.

CMC said...

he he...yes I do relate. Mostly, around here, workmen probably are shocked that anyone would pay for that "abstract" stuff. And the paint, although now and then they SAY they like it

..well, just threw a shirt in the trash yesterday. Too bad, wall paint and not artist paint on it.

Carolyn said...

Funny! I usually get the two-part question: "How much do these sell for?" And, "How long does it take you to paint one of these?"

Then they get quiet while they do the math. (Hilarious to me.)

Walker said...

boy have I played that out in various ways! And nowadays it's harder to find clothes without paint than with! Bathrobes in particular. Sometimes we just can't wait, right?