5/22 -- Thank you! You pledged so much, I met my goal! From now on, when I post updates about this project I'll post them to "backers only." Thank you, again, everyone who pledged (and thanks to anyone who even considered it)!
When I started to make pictures again after about 15 years not doing it at all, I didn't have a plan. I just felt or saw an image in my mind and I wanted to get it out. It turns out I enjoy making pictures and, as mind-blowing as this is, it seems people enjoy the pictures I make.
It also turns out I'm comfortable saying to a coffeeshop manager, "Could I hang some of my pictures here?" and they mostly have all said yes.
This has changed my life in many good ways.
The trouble I've run into, though, is that I'm showing my pictures every few months but I'm not making many new ones. There are many reasons why I haven't made a lot of new ones, but highest among the reasons is how expensive supplies are.
When you go look at art and see the price, before you wince and think, "no way!" remember that a birch panel costs around $30-50 (a cheap way to go for those of us who can't afford framing), each oil pastel costs about $5, each paint stick costs $11-17, and each tube of paint costs a minimum of $8.50 (small), and if I had the cash I would invest in the huge tubes that run around $30/ea. For this most recent painting I did for the show I'm hanging on Wednesday, I went through two medium and three small tubes of oil paint. I'm not including the free sample tube I got at the art supply store or the pastels I used as the first coat (I already had them). The cost of supplies (including a couple "mediums" for mixing paint and some paint thinner/cleaning liquid) was about $175.
There are so many other expenses related to making pictures, it would be very easy and reasonable for me to say I can't afford to do it.
I can't afford to do it. No kidding.
But, I want to do it. In some contexts I might even argue I need to do it. I've got places to show my paintings booked for May, June, and July. I'm going to ask at two other spots and I believe they will say yes.
I've sold one painting, but I don't expect my paintings to sell. I couldn't possibly make them thinking "these better be good enough to sell."
As for the "case for my project," I suppose the most important thing to me about being able to buy the supplies I need is the pressure that's relieved from me so I can just make new pictures. My young daughters (nearly 9 and just 3) and I live very simply. My former husband is a loving father to his girls and he provides generous support. My business (grant writer) is growing. But, I've just come out of a divorce. I'm temporarily on State assistance (food stamps). And, after going through bankruptcy I have no credit cards. (I hope to never have credit cards again, but that's a different story.)
I'm frugal and responsible (now). I'm not going to get my Starbucks coffee this month or next month to help pay for the paints I needed for the show in May. I recognize that doesn't sound like much of a sacrifice, giving up my grande-dark-roast-coffee-in-a-venti-cup. But, I miss my stops at that Starbucks where I'm a regular. It's certainly worth the small sacrifice to know my choosing to buy paints won't put us under more strain than we already are. But, my social life isn't very active and that (nearly daily coffee) was a nice little space in my life that I've had to put on hold for a while.
I'm thinking as I'm typing and I realize the most important fact I think of when I think, "why should anyone support this?" is this: When I make paintings, I'm a better mother.
(I've gone back and forth about explaining the "no Starbucks for two months" part of this tale. It sounds so... like not much of a sacrifice. But, I'm always honest and that's the situation as it is.
Speaking of being honest, if by some amazing amazingness I raise the kickstarter money I will only use the money for supplies for my paintings. In other words, you won't be paying for my visits to Starbucks...)
- (30 days)