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I sat in my lounge the other day as it was filled with over 70 pieces of my artwork, I’d opened it up to have an Art Sale over the weekend. This felt like both a brave and an embarrassing act of faith and courage.

Hanging the works in one space gave me a jolt of recognition that ‘many of these are the ones that remain’, and where to from here?  It also became quite confronting for me and perhaps if I be kind, a celebration.

I was more than grateful that several pieces sold, the financial support of that is really helpful.



Audio … ‘podcast’ kind of recording.  vimeo link : https://vimeo.com/204308171

As I mention in this audio, one of the most painful questions I still ‘come up against’ is “Did you sell any paintings?” It’s obviously not the question in and of itself, it’s about what I make it mean.




I’m not looking for platitudes or wanting to take up full time residence in victim mode here, I’m simply aiming curiosity at an aspect of ‘being an artist’ that can really suck. I wonder why this question is seemingly the first one to roll of someones’s tongue.

I don’t think many other workers of pretty much any kind are asked this.

What other questions/things might one say . . .

  • How did it feel having a room filled with your creativity on the wall and people staring at them?
  • Tell me about your favourite piece in this collection.
  • Can I tell you about the one I liked the best?
  • I was most moved by . . .
  • This one made me think of . . .

Before you ask that question of an artist . . . pause . . . what is it you’re really asking, and is there a way you can connect in a new way.

What happens when something goes from being an expression of feelings and emotions and colour.. onto the canvas . . . to an item or product for sale. Can we / I the artist divorce myself from that process? Can I make it less of an issue of success or failure.


This is on my mind again, will I do the dance to create for the love of it, if it sells – celebrate the exchange. If it does not sell – celebrate the freedom to paint again, paint some more, paint over any I/you choose to.

I speak a bit more about all of this in a ‘podcast’ kind of ‘innerviewthing above that my partner and I recorded Thurs 16 Feb 2017.

I feel I live right in the middle of the paradox. Wanting to paint for the love of it, needing to have financial exchange for my work in some way shape or form . . . if not from making art, perhaps from other creative projects. This year is all about making changes that bring me more into alignment with what I’m meant to be doing here.

Making a living from ones art – this seems to be quite an issue of contention. Reading Big Magic by Liz Gilbert I came up HARD against her words “I don’t make my creativity pay the rent”.

So, I believe I am still in the thick of this inquiry, I am not seeking answers from without so much as from within, but open to sharing a piece of the process with you here. I suspect I am not alone in this quest to make peace with how I/we stay true to the creative spirit within whilst finding authentic, doable ways of ‘making a living’.

Before you ask that question of an artist . . . pause . . . what is it you’re really asking, and is there a way you can connect in a new way.

Denise x

ps. It’s been over a week since the art sale, I’ve decided to remove several of the paintings from their stretchers and let them go. Already I feel an ease when I look at the smooth pine frames without any canvas stretched upon them, they wait patiently to have a new beginning, and hold a new possibility for me. I’ve also started to paint over a selection of them that are ‘done’. I may share some of them in a future blogpost soon. D x