In an earlier post, I told you about my New Mexico gallery hunt. I have ever-changing lists of galleries to contact, galleries to follow up with, galleries to contact later, and galleries to not contact again.
I’ve gotten replies from many of these galleries. They tell me that they represent only New Mexico artists, or aren’t looking for landscape artists, or aren’t looking for any new artists at all. Or they don’t give me a reason.
A few have asked me to try back later.
The most promising lead was from Waxlander Gallery on Canyon Road. Bonnie French, no relation, replied and said she was sending my email to the owner, Phyllis Kapp. Phyllis Kapp started Waxlander over 30 years ago when she was 55 years old!
A few days later, I got another email from Bonnie at Waxlander:”Phyllis would like you to send three originals for her to look at. Three different sizes. One should be a 30” x 40” (or similar size) She needs to make sure you can paint the same quality in different sizes.” They also wanted me to raise my prices to the level of their other emerging artists.
There were two problems:
2) I didn’t have any 30″ X 40″ paintings.
I told Bonnie about these issues. Before she could reply, I ran out and bought a 30″ X 40″ canvas.
Bonnie replied and asked me to call later that day. She was going to have a meeting with Phyllis, and I would have the chance to talk to them both. So I called. I was a nervous wreck. It was like a job interview. We talked about my prices, my sales over the last few years., the market in my area, and sending originals.
They wanted me to send them original work. I told them my better work was in Taos and Mountainair, and I’d just bought a large canvas for them. They asked if I had anything at all to send right away, which I did. They asked me to ship what I had, and not to worry about the big piece.
I shipped them the pieces below. Although I like these pieces, I don’t feel they were my best.
Let’s pause for a moment…
While I waited for Bonnie and Phyllis to get my work and look it over, I decided to paint something on the big 30″ X 40″ canvas. When we were in New Mexico in August of 2015, we drove up into the Jemez Mountains. On our way back down in the evening, we were going through the Jemez Springs area. There are gorgeous red rock formations, and the setting sun makes the reds explode, and casts some neat shadows. I took a cool picture near a group of Native Fry Bread taco stands.
Here’s the painting:
It took me about five days to paint this. I hoped Phyllis and Bonnie would want to see it.
As my grandpa would’ve said: “Well…”
About a week or so after I shipped them my paintings, Bonnie replied. “First of all Phyllis feel[s] you have potential and that you have great natural ability. She does not think you are quite ready for Waxlander Gallery. She would love to see your new work (images) maybe every six months or so to see how your talent is progressing. That is if you are willing to do that.”
Damn. Damn. Darn.
I was disappointed. Very. I had tried not to get excited because I knew there was a real good chance that they’d turn me down. But I still let the dream take over part of my mind. Yes, I was excited. I shouldn’t have been. It’s unprofessional.
Of course I’ll try again in six months, like Phyllis and Bonnie requested. I’m not about to give up.
I worked hard on that big piece. I really love it. I love the shadows, and the sculpted red rocks. And I love my oil paints. I’ll never stop. But for a little while, I’ve taken a break from the oils. I needed time to step back, wait for the canvas to call me, wait for the passion to come back. I don’t like to wait; there’s work to do. It won’t be long; I have a show in November. I have to get new work ready.
Meanwhile, I’ve started playing with watercolors. I haven’t done that in years! More on that later. Here’s a teaser:
(As a side note, I’ve found that when I have negative feeling, and I paint, the negativity goes away. It’s gone! With that in mind, I suddenly feel that it’s time to squeeze the oil tubes again!)