A while back, four pieces arrived from a Miami gallery show, the surface totally damaged due to ignoring the shipping instructions I’d sent. Pouring medium stays somewhat soft, kind of like encaustic.
This was the biggest piece I’d done with this new series, 36″x36″ – I’ve done way larger with paints, but not with pouring medium. The larger the piece, the more complicated the logistics and the more challenge it takes to create actual art. It took at least 7 pours, countless hours, several interval layers, and a ton of medium. Ok, more like gallons. A lot of waiting and looking time in between each pour.
There is a beautiful state you get to when a piece is done, when you’ve listened to yourself and stopped yourself from over-working it, and just enough is there to invoke that magic.
I’ve been represented by some really decent people. I guess I was lucky. This was my first experience with a gallery not paying attention about many things, not the least of which was shipping instructions. The first time I’ve been really badly represented in several ways (they had it hung sideways and I didn’t find out about it until two weeks before the show was over, really??? didn’t include me in the show catalogue, etc.)
I think I lost my innocence. Or at least my naiveté.
To unpack a box and see it so messed up is like a kick in the gut. No, worse. At 5 years old, I once took my red cape to the top of the school bleachers and jumped off, sure that I could fly. The impact took my breath away for so long I wasn’t sure I was getting it back. That’s more like what this was like.
I fixed it. Took some work and money, but it’s just fine now (and really, really heavy).
So. As in all things that hit us hard, it’s time to look for the lessons in this:
1. All busy galleries can get too busy to follow details, but some are worse than others. Check out your galleries ahead of time. Read the reviews. Wasn’t possible, really, with this one because it was new – but the main guy had been in the business and pops up with negative reviews. I should have dug deeper.
2. If you have special shipping needs, make it as easy as possible for a gallery to follow them but remember they may not. Better yet, consider protecting them so well (i.e., higher side framing for pours or encaustics), etc.
3. If you can, deliver and pick them up yourself.
4. Make sure to attach a “How to Handle this ArtWork” statement on the back of each piece. Remember that, as in 1. above, this may get lost or ignored.
5. Finally, seriously consider using Art Resin on your work. It fixed all of the scratches and dents, maintains the luminosity of the pouring medium layers, and isn’t toxic or nasty. I’ll write more about Art Resin and how to use it later, but generally the info is all over their website. It’s pricey but worth it.
If you all have other ideas, please let me know.