ANOTHER Change of Plans

Ha ha ha! What did I call the last blog post? Change of Plans: No More Seven or Eight? I find that funny. Because I have changed my plans yet again! Call me crazy. Actually, no don’t. Don’t call me crazy. That would seriously offend me.

Not only will there be a seven and eight, there will be a nine and a ten and a so forth. The numbers will keep going up if you know how to count.

Number 3:

Red Scarf, 2013. Oil and pencil on birch panel.
Red Scarf, 2013. Oil and pencil on birch panel.

I don’t care about size. (Who said women care about size?) I don’t care about price. I don’t care about rules or regulations.

When I was a kid, my grandfather – well, he wasn’t really my grandfather – he was just Jack, my Nana’s 20th husband or something like that. He was a genuine Fuller Brush man, but that’s besides the point.

He used to come over to my house and grill me about how I should make a neat and tidy list of “RULES ANS REGULATIONS” and stick it on our refrigerator. I’ve probably mentioned this before. But it’s because it’s so ingrained into my head. Even the sound of his scratchy voice and Brooklyn accent, “Ya have to follow those rules and regulations so you know how to behave!” And all this because the fucking television was on in the living room when he came over for Thanksgiving one year.

It was probably on so we didn’t have to hear him bitch and moan.

So, as usual, I digress.

I have spent the last five days going over this whole idea of rules and regulations, about galleries, the economy, painting smaller, and pricing. Other people’s opinions, the “art world,” the supposed tos, and all that crap. Even the opinions of real people in your life that actually do matter, like the people I love – even they don’t even matter! Sounds harsh, but when it comes to your art work, YOU have to love it. If your mom hates it, too bad. And that goes for your boyfriend too.

I feel like I looked at all this shit from every angle until each element turned into a piece of fruit. Yes, I said fruit. Why? Because I have been eating a lot of fruit these past few months, and I have lost 25 pounds by the way. (Yaye. No one has noticed.)

So I chopped all this fruit up on a cutting board and slid it into a giant watermelon bowl (as seen below) and tossed it with some really nice, wooden salad tongs I got in a little, off-the-beaten path town in Italy that you will never find.

Then I served up this very interesting fruit-salad-of-art-quandary to both myself and my very opinionated boyfriend and… it tasted like shit!

It was so bad, we both could not eat it. I had to put the entire thing into the garbage disposal. Bye bye.

So I had to go fruit shopping, by myself, cut everything up, by myself, and eat it by myself.

The metaphor here means absolutely nothing – so stop trying to figure it out. I’m off the fruit thing.

Starting Saturday, I went through my entire database and repriced all my work, raising the prices for aaaallll the increments that were missed over the past six years — after I did the print residency at Self Help Graphics, which put me into almost a dozen international museum collections. Then, when won the Pollock-Krasner Award, landed a fourth, upscale gallery in Nashville and had two solo shows there. I had another important solo show at UCLA Hillel, and won two more grants from the California Arts Council, and most recently at the Artists’ Fellowship in New York. Not to mention had my hand painted book, All Done But None purchased for the National Museum of Women in the Arts collection in Washington, DC and UC Irvine. Plus, I had more of my Artists’ books purchased by The Brooklyn Museum, , Otis, UCLA, and a half a dozen private collections (both books and original paintings).

Never were my prices raised.

So at this point, to be shy about a crappy economy, taking financial and/or aesthetic advice from a gallery I no longer am represented by, or be scared to utilize my larger inventory of blank canvases – it’s all a waste of time time. I’m moving forward with my own gut.

mjp was actually a great motivator on helping me to raise my prices, I have to say. He’s been telling me for years to quadruple+ my prices, but I was too scared. I also wasn’t free to do that either. And as an artist, you can’t go backwards once you do raise your prices, so it is a big risk. However, I have nothing to loose now.

Learning to get Mad not Even

Some people may or may not agree that being mad, at times, is not only healthy, it’s a great motivator.

Well, this has been a lifelong problem for me. I fear “mad.” I fear anger. My own, other people’s, etc.

We all gravitate towards the familiar, so if you’re used to bad habits, of course it’s going to feel odd to make a change. It’s like learning to walk or something, but I’m working on it.

Because all it’s gotten me is depression (turning the anger inward on myself) and rage (stuffing it down and suppressing it).

Sometimes I even wonder if I could deal with these kinds of complex PTSD issues, how much brain chemistry would be left to medicate? The same amount? Very little? None? It makes me think.

So I’ve been working on these “rage letters.” I would never send them out of course. But they are starting to become healing and at the very least, getting me in touch with my anger.

The first ones I wrote, my therapist read them and laughed at them. She said, “This isn’t rage.”

I wrote things like, I am very upset and sad and feel you should take some responsibility for this situation…

I guess that is pretty funny. That doesn’t even sound remotely mad really. It sounds like I was giving the person some sort of option. Ha!

Eventually, I’ve been able to write things more like, “you’re a nasty bitch that deserves life-long baldness and your toenails removed with a rusty pliers…”

So at least I’m getting there.

Okay. Want to see the preliminary sketch for Number 6?



I’m working on Number 4 today. It’s lots and lots of black outlines, so maybe I will take a pic when I’m done with this part of it. We’ll see.


4 thoughts on “ANOTHER Change of Plans

  1. Scarlett April 17, 2013 / 3:45 pm

    Carol, love #6 and all the new work. I am seriously shocked that you have not raised your prices for so long! I thought Galleries were in business to make money? Why did they not raise your prices? I know the economy sticks but I still buy designer purses! If someone loves art, they will buy it. And honestly, the homeless guy on the corner isn’t the one why is going into galleries and making purchases. I just don’t get it but congratulations to you for taking control of your own creativity and determining the worth of your art!

  2. Carol Es April 17, 2013 / 4:43 pm

    Thanks Scarlett! I just worked on that today only to realize that it is not at ALL centered on the panel, plus the composition it totally bent on the left side where the top and bottom meet. …I suppose I got lazy? I admit I was kind of high. But it’s too late now. All the black outlines are painted. That’s it.

    I don’t know about the gallery thing. I don’t want to make any kind of enemy out of them. They sat down with me and we did do a minor raise of prices at some point – maybe in 2009? But it was really a joke. I’m talking hundreds. It was with severe caution to the economy, and truthfully, I don’t think the gallery had the clientele for both that price range or my kind of work. They are good for mid-range $500-$2500 and $5000 on a good day, but not for work like mine. I should have had my eyes open wider sooner.

    Thank you so much – both for your support and your congratulating me because that means a lot. It was hard to post this, hard to decide these things, and hard to “be” in the confidence. But I have to be. So THANK YOU. Along the way, YOU have contributed to that you know?

  3. reuben April 17, 2013 / 6:42 pm

    I know my opinion is useless, and likely a harmful distraction. But I can’t help it –these are the best yet.

  4. Carol Es April 17, 2013 / 6:53 pm


    It’s not that I’m totally numb to the reasons you might think this stuff about me – that *I* might think your opinion is “useless” or even “harmful,” but can I please tell you how so very wrong you are? I STRONGLY respect your opinion (so thank you VERY much!) and you, you are the opposite of useless, and any communication from you would only be helpful, not harmful. And probably healing.

    Thanks for popping up here.

    How’s the art coming along?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.