Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Hanging By A Thread
If I needed a kick up the ass to remind me that I was slipping into crusty, suburban complacency, I got it yesterday. A corporate high-flyer who had commissioned two large enamel paintings informed me that he was able to pay neither the balance owing on one that I had just completed nor a second stage payment on the other, for which I had presented the study drawing. This left me with a five-figure shortfall in my studio's monthly budget.After several emails to art dealers in three countries (well, those whom I still regard as friends), as well as a couple of tense, late night and early morning conference calls between the collector, my accountant and me, some of the monies owed were recovered and the finished painting re-sold. It's the first financial fright of any magnitude that I've ever had to negotiate and the experience left me feeling like a wrung-out dish-rag for the rest of the day.Last year, my work suffered because of some serious technical fuck-ups. So I immersed myself in creating a better managed, more highly skilled and productive studio in which I could be confident not only of the quality of the 'craftsmanship' but also the capacity to turn whatever I might imagine in the future – in any number of different media – into reality. For a brief moment, everything I'd worked so hard for was threatened by this one, unexpected default. I'm determined not to let that happen again.