Brenda Edwards



December 31st, 2014 - The Daily Muse

Well, the year is up and I have not managed to keep a couple of my New Year’s resolutions. I was supposed to blog more – at least once a month. That didn’t happen. I mostly blog when I’m frustrated with painting and want to do something else that I imagine is artistically productive. I’m not sure blogging is productive. I was also supposed to do more research on blogging this year. One resolution I did keep was that I would spend the year as a painter. This conviction was precipitated by a good friend and her husband who purchased two of my paintings at the beginning of the year, and told me to paint. She said, don’t give up, give it another year – just paint. So in honor of her investment in my work, I stopped actively seeking work – but to be honest, I was still watching for part-time work until about June when I realized I’d sold 6 paintings, and I made myself stop looking. Other things had happened by June besides people buying paintings. Two former work connections hired me for freelance graphic design assignments. I also happened upon in my part-time work search, and set up a little business boarding dogs that Bunny, my dog, was willing to put up with. The Rover venture kept me in the studio and got me through the tough summer months when our electric bill soars. Additionally, I got accepted into a competition in July and asked to exhibit a piece in another group show in July as well, where I sold another work. But I was still not having any luck in getting a solo exhibition. And just as I was about to give up on that, Jason Savaglio, the curator for Pita Jungle restaurants, called me and said, “want to put up a show in a week in Chandler?”

Mind you, Pita Jungle is not a prestigious place to show your work, and it doesn’t get you reviewed. But it is a comfortable, inviting place. I think people are often put off by the idea of going to a gallery, but they will sure go to a restaurant. After the Pita Jungle opening things really got better, thanks to friends, collectors, relatives and even my Dentist. But I still wasn’t satisfied, and was really assessing my self-worth when a Chandler Pita Jungle patron got in touch with me and gave me a low offer on a painting. It was low, but it was an offer from a stranger who has not followed my work online, as most of my buyers have. A stranger, in a restaurant eating food, was now shopping for paint! This was a victory, and I was tempted, because it was a street sale, but I told him I did not negotiate pricing. I believe that art should have a market value, and you owe it to your buyers to keep that value, and not only that, but aspire to escalate it. So I did not hear from him for 3 more weeks, at which point he gave me a higher, low offer. We bantered back and forth, but I held my ground. He did not acquire the painting, but my diligence was rewarded when two other Pita Jungle patrons did offer me full value for my work out of the Ahwatukee location.

That was a good sign because that was the subject of one of those mental “God conversations” that I have when I paint. I’m not always certain that God actually answers my prayers, so I like to kind of slip my requests in. I was casually telling him, as I was painting – and working ever so hard, that I really needed to generate a sale at Pita Jungle in order to fulfill any kind of job satisfaction this year. I told him that it was highly important, and that he ought to take care of that. So, as God does things, first I got the temptation of accepting a low bid from a Pita Jungle patron, and once I weathered that, I got two more sales at market price. And I’m not saying I’ve got a direct connection to God, don’t get me wrong. I think he’s only barely tolerant of me, as I can be irreverent. But I do think that he is aware that I have worked very hard this year, even if I haven’t become proficient at blogging. And I do occasionally, casually and ever so delicately ask that he direct some of his super powers my way, and I have witnessed those super powers in my time.

So thank you Sue Goldman, and everyone else who bought my work this year. Thank you for the honor of having my work in your home. And thank you God for the street sales. I know the world is your church, because it’s such a beautiful place, and I’m still keeping the faith. Happy New Year!