The magic of fond farewells

'Do you feel sad when you sell a painting?' a friend of mine asked me over a cup of tea. It's a question I've been asked a few times over the years.

And the answer is, no.

'I feel the same way,' said my friend, a photographer. 'It's as though my relationship with the piece begins and ends with the process of creating it.'

'Exactly,' I replied.

The creation of a painting (or any other type of art, I imagine) is an intimate experience with the creative muse, whatever that is. It feels as though the painting and I are having a wordless conversation, or as if we are collaborating on it together. I'll get glimpses of how the figure wants to pose, and I'll chase this image around the canvas with a pencil. Once the character has been drawn, I'll have intuitive feelings about how the colours should be. Sometimes the paint does things I wasn't expecting it to, but it all becomes a part of the 'painting dance'. I will eventually know when I've reached a point where any further fiddling will 'overcook' the piece.

And then it's done.

The painting will be sealed, wrapped up carefully and put into storage, until it either goes into an exhibition or finds a new home. Which is a wonderful thing, because my feeling is that the paintings have all been created to be a part of other people's lives, not mine. And to know that they are living on people's walls and being enjoyed, brings me a wonderful sense of delight, because the artwork is fulfilling its purpose.

And because the next painting is banging on my door, waiting to be created...

Pearl

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