Thursday, January 21, 2010
You get what you pay for.
So, what did THAT cost you? The typical question when you show someone something nice that you just got. Isn’t that the foundation of how we value things, the cost? I'm not talking about the “manufacturer’s suggested retail price”... the “MSRP” I’m talking about the actual cost. I went to a gun and knife show today. My first one. My son and I walked in and were overwhelmed by all the people and stuff. I wasn’t planning on buying anything, just going to check things out. On our way down the last aisle, we both noticed a table full of Samurai swords. The price tags ranged from two to four hundred dollars each. The guy selling them saw that they caught our eyes.
“Fifty bucks”, he said.
“Fifty bucks?” I replied, as I read the price tag of $329 on one, and $289 on another. “Why only fifty bucks?”
“Guy went bankrupt.” he told me. “I picked ‘em up at auction. Figured I could get rid of ‘em here, but no one’s buying.”
I started looking closer. I picked my favorite one and had my son pick his. I paid him his fifty bucks each and headed out. When I got home I googled the swords, and sure enough, they were priced in the hundreds. I felt like I got a really good deal, but the cost for me was low. I walked in. Showed my wife, and set them against the wall behind one of my guitars. They may have had a high price on them, but the “cost” for me was low. They came easy and cheap. I guarantee you, if I had actually paid six or seven humdred of my hard earned dollars for these two swords, I would have valued them much more and set them in a more prestigious place.
I’ve been greeted numerous times with, “I hate you!” at shows, on here, by friends, by family, and by strangers... I know people mean it almost as a compliment, but it kind of implies that things come easy for me, and they hate me or resent me for it. The truth is, I work hard for it, and it doesn’t come as easy as people might think. I've attached a couple photos of my “Canvas Graveyard” as I call it. these are just SOME of the stretcher bars I have that I bought as stretched blank canvases, put my full effort into, and ended up cutting them off and throwing them away. I sold a couple of them, but almost all of these you see here were complete tragedies. the best painting intentions... fallen short, and abandoned. Ironically, their skeletons await their resurrection as something new and hopefully valued rather than despised and tossed aside. Another promise I can make to you is that every painting, every image, every brush stroke, comes at a cost for me. I’m investing my heart and soul into all of it, so when I complete something and feel good enough about it to show you... You see a painting. What you don’t see is the conceptualizing, the sketching, the photography, the under-painting, and you definitely don’t see the canvas graveyard.
I devote almost all my energy and most of my time to my art. Like I’ve said in earlier blogs, I do it because I love it. I’m grateful to all of you for your support, encouragement, and interest. I hope these pics encourage you to keep hard at it. not for any other reason than the fact that you love to create. Even if it’s been done before, it hasn’t been done by you, so do it... And if it doesn’t come easy for you? If you feel empty? If it’s inconvenient? If you mess up and have to start again? whatever... just remember, You get what you pay for... And when someone asks you, “So, what did that cost you?” You can just say, “You don’t even know!”
Every one of these at one time had a painting on them... almost all were abandoned, and thrown out.