Artworx Gallery | Contemporary Art & Gifts | Goolwa SA

Artworx Gallery - currently celebrating its 10th anniversary - is a regular award winner and the finest contemporary art gallery on South Australia's Fleurieu Peninsula.

The Amazing Life of Sold Work

I have a confession to make -  I never become attached to anything I paint.
This is not the experience of every artist and it almost seems cold and harsh that an artist who expends so much in producing an artwork, could possibly distance themselves from what they produce.

Actually, I love the subjects I paint and happily others love what I do too, it's a great combination.  For me, a painting unsold is a painting unfinished.  When a painting is loved by someone else, whether they buy it or not, it’s an artist's reward. When work sells, it is love manifesting itself in action and like marriage, it is the formal conviction of love and the wanting to be together.  To sell is a commitment that artists love and it's not just about the money, because even small stuff that can sell for very little produces the same satisfaction.

So, the thing is this; art that sells and moves on, does so into a different family ,  a different world and a new life begins. Unfortunately, artists are rarely given an insight into the life of things they create and sell, but sometimes we do!

Personally, I've had two glimpses into the lives of paintings that have 'moved on', but I will just mention one here.

The painting in question was one I had donated to an art show. It  was quite a nice painting of a beach path in acrylic.  A few years later I heard the amusing story of its turbulent early life from another artist who knew the person who won the painting.

The lady who won the painting proudly took it home and hung it in the lounge room. However, it didn't take long before the clash with the decor became too much and she wanted to sell it ( Note,  that this is a reaction of someone who did not buy the painting for love). Anyway, she found a buyer who was very happy to purchase it for a good price. The new owner took it home and hung it prominently and waited for the family to come home that evening to see it. All went well until the daughter came home and on seeing the work, burst into tears.

I must intervene in this story to tell you, that on hearing someone had cried on seeing my painting, I thought that I had reached some kind of pinnacle in my art journey to produce such an emotion.  The thought was short-lived!

The daughter had just broken up with her boyfriend in the very spot shown in the painting and of course, it just added to the sorrow of her day. So, the painting was moved on again and goodness knows where it is now.  I just know there are thousands of such interesting stories that may never be told, but what precious gems they are when they surface.

Sometime, I will tell you about the one that turned up in a second-hand shop!

Mike Barr



Liz and John Francis

12 Hays Street
Goolwa, South Australia

Phone: (08) 8555 0949


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