This is an image of a painting I recently finished. It was in my glaze cycle, in the works for an entire year. It’s among the ones I have plans for. I picked it up yesterday from the shop that was it’s first stop. It had a big scratch that traveled 16 inches through the petals down through the leaves, all the way through to the white canvas. The shop owner said she must have just done it, hauling it out from behind a metal framed piece. I was stunned. I can’t fix it, too many glazes, too many transparent colors I can not match, it’s impossible. But also stunned because I always stress that care be taken. If she had used the protective corners that I left with the paintings this would not have happened. If she moved the painting in front to get to this one this would not have happened. It was an accident due to lack of care. Because of my methods of working I consider it a good year when I complete 10 pieces a year. (not including sketches and other quicker works, but serious studio pieces like this). Because I have Dysautonomia I have limited energy which limits my work. Because of the economy I haven’t raised my prices although I really need to. I can’t afford to give my work away. But even more than the monetary value is the aesthetic value, the advertising the piece would have done for me as it traveled its course. It was a new star.
I love this shop owner. She has sold about 20 of my pieces through the last 5 years. She has often hung 15 pieces at a time throughout her shop. She is a loving, generous person. I also love myself. I also love this flower, which is why it became a painting. I have always had a cringe factor about the way she handles my work, I say my piece and let it go, chiding myself for being overprotective. Everywhere I bring my work I am commended, if not even considered picky, though rightly so, about how I transport my paintings. Each piece has protective corners, and are stacked according to size, or kept solo if there are none that can safely go with it, and never ever back to front ( in case picture wire from one might scratch another ). The frames I helped design protrude beyond the canvas, ensuring that nothing ever touches the surface of the painting. The frame is there for protection, and even though it Is a finishing touch, it’s most important function is protection. If one feels the need to cover the piece, one simply uses a piece of cardboard that floats above the painting, resting on the edges of the frame. I have had crates made to hold several paintings safely for travel as well as storage. I see other people taking much less care of their work. and I think them foolish, while they think I’m a bit much. We never Say this to each other, we don’t have to.
So, I arrange my returned work in my van for a safe drive home. I drive down to the beach and sit there, stunned, trying to get a grip. The waves are lapping at the sand, the piers have caps of snow, and the clouds are mimicking the ripples on the water. I am coming round.
This morning while doing my yoga I came to the conclusion that I have to ask her to pay me half its value. She did say if she had to buy it she would donate it to the Women’s Shelter. I think that’s fitting actually, it is still beautiful just like those damaged women, and perhaps it might say that to them. I felt almost alright about this conclusion, and then I glanced over at my (indoor) garden and saw a passion flower bud poke out a purple filament, and I watched the bud unfurl, and I felt like that happening was commending my decision, it took the tenter-hooks away.