How long has it been since I’ve posted a painting? Forever, right? Well, I’m always painting–I just don’t necessarily do anything with them. They tend to stack up. That’s the difficulty with an artistic pursuit like oil painting. What do you do with them once they’re finished? If I were a professional artist, I would photograph them, submit them to a gallery, list them for sale online–but that’s administrative work, and I have WAY too much administrative work already in my life as a writer. I want to paint, but I don’t want to do all the other stuff painters have to do to sell their work. (See: Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic, Shit Sandwiches)
Well, now I have an answer. I’m auctioning the paintings off for charity. I’m channeling my election-fueled anxiety in a new direction that solves a whole bunch of problems all at once. It goes like this:
(1) Stay away from the news until 6 PM. I call this the 1995 Before 6 Plan. Before 6 PM, I can only look at news sources I was looking at in 1995, which means that in the morning, I listen to NPR and read the paper (like, the real paper that gets tossed on my doorstep), and that’s pretty much it until the end of the day. This makes for a remarkably pleasant day. You should try it. When 6 PM rolls around, I go back to my Twitter/Facebook/Politico-fueled insanity. But 6 PM also happens to be the hour I’m allowed to start drinking, so it works out.
(2) With all that free time during the day, make some art! Why not?
(3) Sell that art in an auction to benefit a charity doing some actual good in the world. So you see, I get to have a nice time making some art, and I get to disconnect from the insanity of current events (at least before 6!), but good deeds still get done, and small steps still get taken toward solving the world’s problems. I’m just not obsessively agonizing over those world problems all day long.
So. To that end, I’m auctioning off ten paintings in December to benefit the American Refugee Committee. The donation happens automatically through eBay’s charity program, so you don’t have to wonder if I’ll actually get around to donating the money. I won’t ever even see the money. The charity gets 100% of your purchase price–every penny.
I’m calling this first round “Nine New York Scenes and One Famous New Yorker.” You can go here to bid, and to see who the famous New Yorker is.
I intend to continue doing this. It’s very pleasant to make art, but it’s even more pleasant–thrilling, actually– to make art for a REASON. I am painting for YOU, and for a good cause. It is truly such a delightful way to put in my time, even (especially) in this tumultuous age.
So please, follow me on eBay by clicking “Add to my Favorite Sellers” so you can be notified of new listings, and stay tuned for new charity auctions in the new year. I’ll also post updates on Facebook if you’re following along there.
Here’s my favorite painting from this first round: