Well, the show for this year’s Principle Gallery show is delivered. Everything went smoothly yesterday and I was home by late afternoon.
The only thing for me to do now is wait for the opening next Friday. I know that this is something I’ve written about here before, this time in the interval between delivery and the actual show.
It’s always filled with a lot of mixed feelings. There is relief that the work is done, that I have completed a task. But that’s usually countered by the fact that the opening is still ahead, that there is still some work to be done. Now, it is relatively pleasant work, standing around and talking about paintings. It certainly beats the hell out of some of the things I’ve done as work in the past. But it is work. A required task.
The time is also filled with creeping doubts about whether the show will be received well. There is an almost schizophrenic swing between feelings of complete satisfaction and excitement in the work I’ve done and feelings filled with dread that I’m seeing things in the work that others won’t, that the work is too directed to my own sensibilities and won’t translate to others.
This usually leads to a questioning of why I do what I do and why anyone would be even casually interested. I mean, I smear paint on canvas and paper in my house in the woods. Is there any real importance in this? I’m not saving lives, not actively helping or serving people, not building truly useful objects. I can think of an endless list of things people do that might actually be of more importance in the overall scheme of things, from researchers looking for bits of data that might lead to cures for deadly diseases all the way through to the person who fills my popcorn bucket at the movie theatre.
But despite this, it remains important to me and this makes me care about the work I do. It has a purpose for me, at the very least, and if someone else finds something in it that makes it important for them as well– well, that’s simply a bonus. A little extra gravy, if you will.
So, as you can see, I have the ability to make what should be a perfectly pleasant week into a neurotic nightmare. It’s just an occupational hazard and, while it sounds somewhat tortured, it has just become commomplace in my life. And that’s okay. It’s what I do.
The piece at the top is also a new painting for the Principle show. Called Connecting Light, it’s an 11″ by 11″ image on paper.