So, Martha's excellent painting not withstanding, and, for that matter, the fact that she was an excellent person and friend, as well, why is it so much easier for me, as an artist, to sell someone else's art and sing their praises than it is my own? I'll admit, I don't like being the center of attention - think being sung "Happy Birthday". If I liked performing, I wouldn't have just got up and left during my piano performance at Solo and Ensemble all those years ago.
But this past couple of weeks, I've coordinated a studio sale for my dear, late friend Martha Keller. Now, any museum would be lucky to have one of her paintings - especially one on Lake Michigan, or any Great Lake for that matter, but friends, admirers and collectors had a unique opportunity to come to her creative space on the third floor of a building, downtown Ann Arbor, and just be with hundreds of her gorgeous paintings and drawings. Honestly, it has been a lot of work, but it's been 100% enjoyable to be in her space again and to see and touch her work. It's been an honor.
How many times in our lives do we get to be with 700 or so pieces of art by the same person? There's not a word to describe - or do justice to describing - how prolific Martha was. I'll admit, I'm a huge fan of Martha's - have been since we first became friends. She kept her work so fresh! So unafraid!
I think, as an artist, it is easier to talk up a friend's work than my own. (Don't get me wrong, I am a long-time student of art and craftsmanship - I don't talk up for the sake of talking up!) I know Martha struggled with pieces in the same way I struggle with my work, but I was not emotionally involved with the struggle - I don't see the parts of the paintings she was less than happy with, so I am focused on the finished piece.
She was such a generous person with her encouragement and spirit! With Martha, it's the whole package that makes me such an enthusiastic disciple. I know many people who came to her open studio, and many who weren't able to make it, feel the same way. And really, her work sells itself. So I guess all I had to do was set it up and show up with fellow WSG gallery http://wsg-art.com/gallery/members to run the sale and take the payment.
But it was a lot easier than selling my own......