Thursday, April 30, 2009

Interesting times...

I stopped by the Bainbridge Arts and Crafts Gallery yesterday to pick up my book, which I had loaned to David, the curator there. The place was incredibly lively: they were busy setting up for their Artists' Bailout sale, which begins this morning at 10 am.

While I waited for David I wandered around, looking at all the wonderful merchandise with which they are covering their normally spacious walls. Hanging for this sale is like putting together a massive puzzle with no image to go by: they're just filling up as much wall space as they possibly can, but still grouping things together in a pleasing way.

I've been feeling restless lately -- spring fever, probably -- and wishing there were some way I could afford to go to Italy again. Some of it is just a longing for color -- bright colors, like the ones you see here in this picture of the Capri Harbor -- and as a result I was extremely tempted to show up at the Gallery at 10 this morning to snap one of the bird houses off their walls. The bird houses are made of clay; about 6 inches in diameter, and are essentially brightly colored parrot heads sticking out of the wall: my favorite had a blue, turquoise and green head, a bright orangey-yellow beak, and a red tongue hanging out: very lively and silly... and significantly marked down from its original price.

But these days, of course, it's hard to justify ANY discretionary purchases, and particularly art purchases, so part of me was trying to stay away from the gallery this morning to avoid temptation. On the other hand, as an artist, I know we artists need to eat, and need people to continue buying our work. But can I use my desire to keep art alive as a justification to purchase a silly parrot head?

And then there's another part of me, that's still feeling guilty about not answering a telemarketing/fundraising call last night from the Breast Cancer Prevention Fund. Because that's really the problem with this whole economic crisis: It was always true that money we spent on ourselves was money we weren't spending to help solve the problems of the world ( a friend calls that "white middle class guilt"). But now the money we're NOT spending is helping to create problems much closer to home. I would hate to see this wonderful gallery go under, and I would also hate to see yet another artist having to give up his art and enter the work force. And yet the timing of the sale, in some ways, is really bad: April is Property Tax Month in Washington, as well as Income Tax Time, and it was a real struggle for many of us to meet those payments.

So at times like this, with decisions like this, I like to leave things to chance a bit. So I wasn't breaking down the door of the gallery at 10 am this morning; I showed up a little later in the day, with a friend, and the piece I wanted had been sold -- the day before, actually.

I found I was delighted not to have to make the choice.


Anonymous said...

Your art shopping reminds me of how I shop for baked goods now...I look, I linger, I smell - too mild a term: I inhale deeply the sweet scents of sugar laden goodness...and then I move on. I find myself looking at the goodies as though I am actually going to buy something, enjoying the process of choosing...but I still walk away.

Unknown said...

Diane, please check out the poem on this posting. I recently found this blogger, and the poem is a gift from a friend of hers. Amazing.
Love you!

Diane Walker said...

Oh, Karen, that is amazing; thank you so much!

Kim -- check out this poem...

Anonymous said...

A dream!