Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Where are they now? Part II

You've heard this story before... I started to sell my artwork on a regular basis while I was at art school at the University of Washington in Seattle from 1977-1981. Back then I got myself a ten foot spot at the Pike Place Market, and once my school assignments were graded they were up for sale and through those years I sold hundreds, if not thousands, of art school assignments.

For almost four years, about three four times a week I would drive down to Pike Place, and later on when I was able to get some storage space for the art, take the bus... I loved those early morning bus rides, and the views of the mist rising from Montlake cut when the bus crossed the bridge from the University District where I lived, down to downtown Seattle are still some of the most wonderful memories of my life. Seattle is such a spectacularly gorgeous city.

And so I became a Pike Place Market "regular." One in the odd family of artists, craftspeople, hippies, farmers and oddfolk who made up the amazing tapestry of the market people. My prices for my student artwork were super good... most pieces went from around $20 and some were as cheap as $5. I think that the most expensive thing that I sold back in those years was probably around a couple of hundred bucks for a huge watercolor. I used to sell at the market two days during the week in order to qualify for a space on Saturdays, which was the best selling day for everyone.

The spaces were open, so in the winter it was cold and damp, and we used to get warmed by coffee from the original Starbucks, back when there was only one, or hot chocolate from the chocolate factory there.

But the bst thing that I received from my time as a Pike Place Market regular was the education in dealing with the public, presenting the work, and talking it up; that was priceless, and in a good way accounts for where I am today... I know this now.

Like I've said before, I often wonder where some of those pieces of artwork are... such as the very cool pen and ink wash piece below, which I actually did one day at the Pike Place Market itself... the subject was a Native American lady who was also a regular at the Pike Place Market, and she was nearly always knitting across from me (I think she sold knitted stuff and macramé - remember macramé?) ... and in some sort of surrealistic student path, I made her into a giant rock or massive statue... those are tiny Seattle sailboats under her. I also loved the spectacular shadow that she casts in the drawing, a shadows that demands a sun which never rises in gunmetal gray Seattle. It is a gray drawing, with a gray weather, in a gray land, with a non-existent black hole sun casting an amazing tropical shadow.

Seattle sailboats in a surreal world by F. Lennox Campello
Someone in the Pacific Northwest bought it and who knows where it is now.

No comments: