I think serendipity is bringing me this week’s bit of writing. It involves a few of my art habits converging to present two of my pieces in a way that I haven’t seen them before. Side by side to compare and contrast.

The first of my habits is my attempts to sell some of my art. To get it out into the world and make a little money. This is mostly a futile endeavor but I do it anyway. First off artists are on the wrong side of the supply chain of escalating art prices. For example: I know some comic books artists who have been producing work all their lives. Usually they get an assignment, draw the comic, have it published, and then the original art is returned to them. They can keep that art or sell it on to collectors.

Most of the artists sell the art on because comics don’t pay a lot of money so selling the art to pay the bills makes sense. The problem is that they didn’t get a ton of money for the art. If they sold a choice piece back in the 1980s or 1990s they may have gotten a few hundred dollars for it. That can add to to decent money if you can sell a dozen pieces or so and I’n sure they were happy to get paid. But now some of those same pieces have been sold over and over again at increasing prices each time until they’re worth tens of thousands of dollars. But the originals artist doesn’t see a dime of that. He’s at the wrong end of that chain with no way to get on the right end.

Of course I can’t even get that two or three hundred dollars for my stuff. I’m just too unknown. That’s the way the world works. But I post my stuff on eBay and Etsy anyway. I’ve sold some small $10 and $20 pieces but that’s it. I post some of my larger in drawings and faux comic book covers for $100 to $150 but I’ve only sold one of those in three years. That’s even a cheap price for them as they often take a day or two to make. But it’s still too expensive for people if they even notice it. But still I post them because a person has to try.

So that posting habit lead me to pulling out some 11×17 inch ink drawings to post on eBay. I’ve been using Etsy recently to try and sell my art so eBay was a bit of a throwback. I had a bunch of ink drawings stacked in a vertical file (another of my habits) so I dug through them to find ones to post. Then I didn’t put them away since I needed them handy in case they sold (I’m such a dreamer) so I put them on top of my small scanner (piling things on flat surfaces is another habit).

Of course I eventually needed the scanner so I had to move the drawings. Where did I put them? Well, another of my habits is to put recently finished work on my easel so I can look at them. So I put the drawings on the easel but put them behind my current work which made me forget the old stuff was even there.

I’ve recently started the habit of posting videos on Instagram. I’ve been posting photos and scans of my art for years now but video is something new for me. I want to get my face out there and humanize my art. Let anyone who wanders onto my feed know there is a person who makes this stuff. So today for the video I wandered over to my easel to give people a look at what was there. I was actually a little but surprised since I forgot those older drawings that I pulled out to post on eBay were there. I went through the drawings, showed them off, and then left them as they were.

As a sat here a little while ago waiting for the end of the day I glanced over at my easel. I always do that almost without thinking as I want to see and judge what work I’ve finished lately. Except this time it was two pieces from February and April of 2016 that were in front. It was a bit of a surprise. They were familiar but it has really been years since I looked at them closely. And they were both quite striking from a distance and worked well together. I wish I had planned it.

The piece on the left is a red ink drawing of a fire goddess. It’s a simple thing made up of a semi-nude woman drawn with red lines. It’s draw from a photo but modified with lots of flame iconography. Her hair is solid red but sticking up in points to suggest flame. Her paints and bikini-like top also have that same solid red with pointy flames on top. Besides that bent triangles around her arms and side also suggest flame. It’s not the most sophisticated piece ever but it works. My favorite part is how the white of the paper seems to glow among all that red. I don’t know that my green or blue ink drawing ever worked as well as this red ink one.

On the right is one of my “The Painted Lady” faux comic book covers. Issue twelve according to the number on the front. It’s in black and white and plays with pattern and positive and negative space. It’s also a photo referenced piece but it’s harder to tell at a glance because the patterns flatten it and it’s not about the gesture of the figure. In black and white my eye really has to pick through the forms to make sense of it all. Its nature is almost that of camouflage.

The two drawings look interesting side by side. Red vs black, clarity vs camouflage, lithe gesture vs stiff symmetry, and light and dark. I hadn’t seen them that way before.