About a month ago I was contacted by Janice Plourde from the York Public Library and asked if I would like to have a show. After a day of thinking about it and not being able to think of any reason not to, I agreed. As I began to put together a body of work I began to really like the idea. A library is not a gallery or museum but the York Public Library is many things. Not only does the library loan books but it has many rooms to serve the town including Selectmen, Planning Board and numerous committees. They have visiting authors, historians, movie night and exhibits of artists among other things. It is a very busy place.
So my selection process of paintings began. I decided to focus on the last several years as there seemed to be a continuity. A lot of my creative time includes drawings and watercolors which I excluded because I didn’t have time to make worthy presentations. I scrambled to make as many frames as possible. I am not a frame maker. This became very apparent but did I really need to prove it to myself? Yup, and unless I was going to drop off about 50 paintings to a frame shop this was my destiny.
I made mostly floater type frames from white pine. As the install date got closer I used some lattice which I painted to frame the three larger (60″ x 48″) paintings. I am a skeptic of framing paintings but cannot resist in some situations. At one level, I like the painting to hold its own, be self sufficient and proud as a singularity. At other times there is nothing as magical as a frame. Somehow they just contain contents like nothing else.
The install date came upon me like the sun bursting out through clouds. I began driving carloads of paintings to the library and leaning them against the walls on a Saturday. I counted around 80, assuming I had enough, happy there were plenty more, just in case. On Monday morning, my wife Sandra and I met art committee chair Janice Plourde and committee member Anastasia Martens to begin putting up the paintings.
There are some prime spaces near the front doors and foyer. They were very suitable for the largest paintings I had with the exception of a large open wall toward the back. For this space I intended a (9′ x4′) triptych. As Sandra busied herself cataloging the paintings Janice, Anastasia and I began putting up the paintings. Their enthusiasm was energizing. We put up and took down and moved paintings around for about 3 hours. At the end, everything felt just right. I was so grateful to have so much help. Thank you Sandra, Janice and Anastasia!
Pricing the paintings was not necessary. The library has no requirements to sell nor do they receive a commission. Ultimately, however, I really would like my paintings to find homes -other than my own. We began the arduous process of putting a price on a painting. This part of the process seems so surreal. My process is spiritual and giving. Selling a painting is similar to the religious aspect of spirituality. I do not like religion in general because of it’s necessity of money. Things become murky. I am not sure about my true intentions. Some of my paintings ring a clear chord, directly to my soul. How can you put a price on this? This is not simple to justify and I am still conflicted. None the less, we put prices on many of the paintings.
The show is up for the months of May and June. There will be an opening on Tuesday, May 16, 5-6:30. All 52 paintings are labeled. Although titles are few, each painting has a number. Please leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you!