The Aftermath – Making the Balance

The question of whether something is worth the effort and trouble doing or not does not cross my mind when it involves making a painting. However, it does cross my mind when it is about an exhibition or any other kind of show of my work. Up till now, the Atelier Route was one thing I wouldn’t think twice to participate. It is a great annual event offering very different possibilities and experiences than gallery exhibiting. So every time I could I did participate. I wouldn’t want to miss it! But things change; things can go wrong; and sometimes more than one thing go wrong in one planned event… And then I’m forced to reconsider and ask myself if it was worthwhile; if the investment was in any relation to the results. I’ve been thinking about it often the last two days and I just can’t make the balance. People ask how it went and I don’t really know how to answer; last weekend left an unpleasant taste behind… Three things went wrong for me because of the central organization of the event:

1) my painting for the big group exhibition (the starting point of the atelier route) was hung in a corner at the end of a corridor, almost invisible for the public. [ok, it can happen during such big shows, not everyone can get a good spot]

2) the colors of my painting in the accompanying publication are changed and really terrible! My crisp light blues have turned into salmon-pinkish grays! [well, … ok again, I suppose this can happen too] and – last but not least

3) whoever made the map for the Atelier Route forgot to put my atelier on the map!… [yeah well, I guess that this can also happen, but does it all have to happen at the same time?] So I wonder now, what’s the point of participating in the atelier route when I’m not in the route? When my atelier is not mentioned and my painting is hung in such an obscure and unnoticeable place that it can’t attract people and bring them here?… The difference in numbers of visitors with other years was huge!

I feel that I invested a lot in this event. Not so much in the financial sense, but more in terms of huge amounts of energy spent, making too long working days, being too focused on my creative flow to be able to really spend quality time with my family for six weeks, which seems like a very long period of time. And then there is the cost of the feeling of guilt: my family hasn’t been eating the healthiest meals lately; I completely forgot (more than once) that Daughter has homework – and she forgot it too; I haven’t been a 100% caring mother when Daughter was ill with the flu; I haven’t been a 100% caring pet-owner when our pet wasn’t feeling very well (luckily he’s ok now!) I haven’t been a 100% caring for myself person when I slept so few hours per night, worked too hard and stuffed myself with maltesers and m&m’s…

I’m glad it’s over! Now I can catch up with some sleep and also enjoy the company of my mother who is visiting from abroad and staying with us for three weeks. My plans for the coming period of time are: sleep, chatter with mom, sleep, clean brushes and palettes, sleep, clean atelier, sleep, finish unfinished paintings, sleep, …


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