ramifications of an impulsive email; or, think before you click


Ok so I just up and composed an email to the owner of a local gallery/shop about my work. I attached a few images of my paintings and some jewelry from my former life as a metalsmith. I gave a little backstory about being a metasmith and giving it up and yet after walking into her store I kinda got the itch, but was not interested in becoming a slave to it again. Just wanted the fun of creating and maybe to make a little cash if someone saw fit to buy something. And as for my paintings, well..(I wrote) I really had no intention of pursuing anything with them, but the stack of finished canvases is growing and they need a home. So would she consider taking them on, or maybe at the very least some prints of them. I hit the "send" button on my email, heard the familiar whoosh sound as it went off, and went about my business.

This is how I do things sometimes. Setting something in motion in the normal course of a day without calculating the possibility of a positive outcome. That day was tuesday(three days ago).

What the Hell was I thinkin'.

Well, you guessed it. The owner emailed me back wanting a meeting ASAP (her words) and could I come in wednesday (the very next day)? Or thursday, or friday...


Ok so now I have opened the door and have to take steps to walk through it. We set up a time for thursday. She wants to see whatever jewelry I have left, five paintings, five prints...

wait, I don't even have prints yet.


So I start googling for places that do Giclee printing (that is that fancy word for new tech inkjet printing used for fine art prints these days...used to be lithographs).

I find a place in Wyoming that seems to know what they are doing and make a note, but over dinner that night Bryan reminds me of a little local place that may do it too...mental note. I thought they were mostly a photo processing place because it is where we had all of Daniel's slides done for his art school/scholarship applications. Hmmm... maybe.

Wednesday, I dig out what I have left of my former life as a metalsmith and ponder what I REALLY want to do with this experience. I need a new torch if I am going to make anything new...

I go online and order a torch (I swear, what would I do without the internet?)

At this point I vow that I am not going to allow this to become a high stress situation and seek the fun and joy that I used to get from my craft instead. So whatever I have to show is what the shop owner gets to see. But I still need to have a plan in place about the prints before we meet. At this point I feel like my brain is going to split in half because these two art forms have to be handled so differently. The jewelry thing I did for years, but the painting thing is new and makes me feel somewhat vulnerable.

Ok, just be cool.


Our meeting is for 1:30. So the normal morning routine of making coffee for Bryan, but this time I fill two 'sippy cups" (as we lovingly call our coffee transport containers) and I get in the car with him (because we only have one car and in order for me to go anywhere I have to ride up to baltimore with him, and drive back). Anyone who knows me understands that I hate to drive. Partly because of my height (4'11') makes it hard to see in some vehicles and I have never really like Bryan's car. Anyway, this is an added stress (I know I sound like a BIG BABY but hey, it is part of my reality...)

So I drive back from baltimore (and get lost, ha, yes more stress) to prepare for my meeting.

I still haven't solved the print issue, so I go online and check out the local place that Bryan was talking about. Sure enough they do the printing. But are they any good, can they shoot the work...

I get on the phone and call and speak to "Dave". Yes to all of the above. And judging by the way he talks, he loves what he does and conveys a feeling (through the phone) that he really cares about the artist.


So I do the math and suggest that I drop the paintings off after my meeting with the gallery/shop owner. I have the car today (the last time was in january) so I have to maximize my time.

Can you feel the momentum? At this point it is about 11:30.

I collect my paintings from around the house. Some were hanging, some were stacked in Daniel's room, and set them by the door. I pack up a small collection of jewelry that has been siting in a box for years. At this point I can't believe how unprepared I am, nothing is priced...and it has been so long...

Be cool.

I put the box by the door and it is 12:30. I need to load the car and go spruce up a bit and change my clothes. I'm cool.

Loading the car. I am putting the last painting in the back seat, adjusting each one, bent over with my butt hanging out the door when from behind me I hear...

"You must be an artist".

I pull my head out and standing before me is a young african-american man with a big smile on his face.

"Yea, but that is pretty clear since I am loading my car full of canvases", I say and smile back.

"So am I". And he pulls out a slide sheet filled with slides of some pretty incredible artwork. I take it from him, lift it to the light, and marvel at the work while simultaneously do a mental WILD TAKE of the moment, how weird it is, and being slightly aware of how little time I have for interacting with anyone, but this is such a unique situation.

I feel myself pulling away from what is coming up at 1:30 and instead mentally being fully present with this young man. Of course the reason he is even in my driveway is because he is in one of those programs that kids accumulate points to go to europe by selling so many magazines...hey that's what brought him to my driveway, but clearly there was more going on here.

One of those cool cosmic moments that REQUIRES pause otherwise to be missed in the fray of life. Missing that kind of moment would be a shame...so I take a breath.

I ask him about his work, tell him how wonderful it is, ask about his plans, tell him what I do and shift into avisualplanet recruiting mode. Of course while doing this I am hastily filling out a form for a magazine subscription (hey when these moments come along-they are my offerings). All the while I am encouraging him about his talent.. I hand him the cash (he can't make change, oh hell just keep it) and my business card and encourage him to email me. Thank you's and god bless you's...

Its now 1:00 and I haven't changed my clothes, (or brushed my hair for that matter).

This in NOT how I normally do things. Ah well...

be cool.

So I throw an artsy shirt over my artsy t-shirt and jeans, pull the pony-tail thingy out of my hair and fluff while grabbing my keys praying that there is no traffic.

There wasn't. I made it. I was even a few minutes early.

I met with the lovely lady that owns the gallery in question and the meeting was great. Her shop caught my attention a few months ago when Bryan and Daniel and I bumped into it after a breakfast outing in Silver Spring. It is not where I would have originally envisioned (if at all) my paintings to land (think white walls and snooty gallery keeper). Instead it is a mishmash of handmade art goodies from a bunch of local artists. Charming in its eclectic nature with a grass-roots kind of feel...that is what caught my attention. The owner (Brenda) is very involved in the Silver Spring community, doing an outdoor market twice a month, and various community minded type functions. And she's really into the artists. The artists set their prices and create the art THEY want to create which is probably why the place has an eclectic (bordering on trashy) feel. Once you are in, you do what you want.

So, after determining that...yes of course she wants my work, but seeing that she has limited wall space, I tell her that I will get back to her about the originals and promise giclees at the very least. She was also excited about getting an appointment with Daniel to see his work as well.

It may not be SoHo, but there is now (officially) a place that wants my paintings.

And now, of course, the ramifications is to follow up which is a whole 'nother chapter.

So when you are in an impulsive mood to click SEND on an email that might take on a life of its own...

think before you click.


OK I'M EXAUSTED JUST READING THAT! But congrats it is a good start and it will be interesting to see what happens. Keep us posted on the process and don't wear out your hands.

The pace of your writing tells the story quite well.What a full morning. Good on you for following so many leadings and openings all at once. Just this weekend I was wondering if you have any of your thin spaces paintings left? If you have time, could you e-mail me and we could chat. I leave Wednesday and will be away from life until Sunday.

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This page contains a single entry by Blair published on May 4, 2007 10:04 AM.

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