I am hoping to deliver a painting today – if the weather holds out as it’s a large one and needs to go on a trailer. I am not actually delivering the painting to the owner but to an interim location. The owner’s new house is not ready so a friend is taking possession in the meantime.
The situation led me to think about the different ways I have delivered my ‘babies’. There are times when they simply disappear – from a gallery or exhibition, usually. There is no chance for a sentimental goodbye or a gentle pat of love. There is only the hope that they are going to a good home. Some paintings have been picked up from my house when I’ve not been there. Some paintings have been collected by carriers and some handed over at the post office. These disappear into the ether and I usually never see them again. I have left paintings at the front door of new owners’ homes when they’ve been out. These particular ‘babies’ have been known to recieve a surreptitions kiss for good luck.
Of course, I’m not suggesting that delivering paintings really compares with dropping a daughter at the airport with 40kg of luggage for a move to Sydney. There is, however, a sense of sending one’s offspring out into the world and not knowing how long they will survive on someone’s wall. And what happens to them after that? Maybe I should include a return clause for when the joy has diminished!
It is actually quite rare for me to deliver a painting directly into the hands of a new owner. It is lovely when this happens. There is a gentle sense of sadness, some pride and an enormous amount of humbleness when someone takes possession of your creation. The fact that a person loves your work enough to hang it in their house is quite overwhelming and, of course, a huge affirmation.
Today’s delivery will involve a third party and the owner, still living a distance away, won’t be there. I will, though, have a chance to give it one last look and hold on to it for a moment longer than necessary. That will be good. You can’t keep them all, as they say, and the point of my art is to give joy to others, as well as to myself. Their purpose in life is to go out there. A bit like the real version of babies, perhaps.