Artist. We create art because we called to do so. We put our blood, sweat and tears into the piece we created. We leave a little piece of ourselves in that art we just created.
Once we create a piece of art, we might display in prominently in our home. We might sweetly gift it to a friend or loved one who we think will enjoy it. Or, we sell it, or try to anyway.
Then, years down the road, what happens to our art, that we so lovingly created?
I ask this question because the last few days I have found myself in many thrift stores, looking for dining room chairs. While wandering the isles of the thrift store I couldn’t help but notice all the art on the shelves.
Some of the art was obviously prints, but there were quite a few original paintings. Paintings someone was inspired enough to buy the paint, canvas, and brushes to paint; then neatly frame their piece.
And, I wonder: Is this were art goes to die? Why is it here? Did the artist give it away as a gift and now someone has discarded it to the donation pile along with unwanted dishes and coffee pots?
Did the artist die and this was what was left of the estate sale? Did no one cherish this piece of art enough to keep it around?
Van Gogh only sold one piece of art while he was alive. Only after his death did he become a big deal in the art world. I actually considered buying a Van Gogh print I found at one thrift store for $24. It was his Gypsy Camp. It’s not one of his most “famous” pieces. If it had been Starry Night or Vase with Sunflowers, then it would have been mine.
Yet, Van Gogh ended up in the thrift store; a print of his art anyway. And, I chose not to take him home.
It saddened me to see all this art lining the walls because I know as an artist how much love goes into creating each piece; even if it doesn’t turn out how we hoped, or doesn’t sell. Ever. We still put ourselves into that piece. And, now a piece of us is hanging in a thrift store that smells like old shoes.
I saved this unsigned acrylic from thrift store death. I turned to my mom and said, “This is where my art will end up some day. The Thrift Store Gallery.”
Lesson learned: Don’t take myself so seriously as an artist, because some day my piece(s) may be showing at the local thrift store. But, maybe someone will save one of my pieces from death and take it home to hang on their walls for the bargain price of $10.99! And give it new life.