#34: The Aftermath – Paula

A thoughtful musing by a friend and fellow painter, Paula Martiesian http://www.paulamartiesian.com/ . As my current show (“Reaching for Beauty” at Coastal Living Gallery in Wickford, RI) is about to come down, that feeling of post-show depression is seeping in. How does an artist determine success, indeed? In reality–By just doing the work.

The Colorist - a Conversation about Painting

How does an artist determine success?   Sales? Critical acclaim?  Or is it something deeper.

Americans are taught to believe that success is measured in monetary terms.  If finance is the scale by which we measure, my exhibit was not a great success.  I sold a painting during the show and one before the exhibit opened.  A disappointment surely, but much better than not selling.

I received a fair amount of media coverage.  There was a nice mention in the Providence Journal with a photograph of one of my favorite paintings, Summer Shadows.  There was a wonderful quote in the Providence Business News – they called my paintings psychotropic – a word never before used to describe my work.  I also had coverage in the RISD XYZ alumni online news and lots of great feedback from friends and colleagues.

Weeds in Snow at the Bert Gallery Weeds in Snow at the Bert Gallery

And yet, the…

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5 thoughts on “#34: The Aftermath – Paula

  1. Karen,

    Thank you for reblogging my post. I have to admit when I wrote it, I was feeling sorry for myself. In today’s light I feel a bit differently – we are lucky to do what we do, lucky to be able to share, lucky that we are any good at painting. (Of course, I have heard the harder you work, the luckier you become.)

    I think about Paris cafés in the 1800s, the artists who congregated there seeking like-minded souls. How many painters do you think there were, 15? 30? If all the painters we knew converged on a café in Providence, there would be hundreds of us. We are competing in a very crowded market full of talent doing something that many consider anachronistic and others timeless.

    It is not an easy time to be a painter!

    Paula

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing this. It’s nice to know artists I respect have a similar experience.
    I struggle with similar feelings, and the result is I just keep painting and not showing them to anyone, not willing to chance rejection, I withdraw to my studio.
    And, wait, to feel confident enough to hang my stuff up again.

    Liked by 1 person

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