An Afternoon at the Gallery

April 12, 2013

Working a shift at a cooperative gallery (one where those who show art work take turns working) can be an interesting experience. Other artists come in to pick up art work from a previous show or call seeking information about various art related activities. What these galleries tend to lack is visits from the general public, especially those interested in purchasing something.

This means there is plenty of time for the assigned worker to waste or try to use constructively. I often bring along art magazines I’ve been meaning to read. Today I was also attempting to broaden my skill as an artist by drawing elipses. I was doing this because I had read a specific way to draw them along with the admonition that one would probably have to draw 1,000 of them to get really good at it.

The author said to draw a line and then draw another line perpendicular to it directly in the center the same length on each side of the first line. For a horizontal elipse start at the top left. For a vertical elipse start at the middle left. Sitting at a desk I started looking around the gallery for objects containing elipses to draw. Try that in just about any room and I’ll bet you’ll be surprised at how many you will see. I saw such things as light fixtures, the end of a roll of adding machine tape, a vase, a jar, etc.

But that was not the end of my afternoon’s experience. A woman came in carrying a flute. She was looking for someone who was not in the gallery at that time but we got to talking and she asked which paintings were mine. I showed her two, one done from a photo and one done on site. She said they each had a different vibe and then asked if she could play her flute for me. Well, why not. I’m tired of drawing elipses. She played and I listened, supposing she was playing some tune she had memorized. But no. She said she was playing the difference between my two paintings. Really? I never would have guessed. But as artists we should be open to new ideas.


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