Last of the roses. Dealing with post-exhibition blues


I thought that if I had a great deal of projects lined up that I could perhaps skip the post-exhibition blues, that I could simply slip neatly back into creativity, that the euphoria of the opening night would launch me into continued and sustained awesomeness.

I did not imagine that the whole process of birthing a series and then laying it and myself out naked on a public platform would feel so celebratory and yet make me feel so exposed and vulnerable. The questions, rife in my mind…’where to from here?’, ‘what is next?, ‘so you really think you can do this?’, ‘is the gallerist happy?’, ‘are the buyers happy?’ ‘what if this is the last one you ever get to do?’ … ‘what if you get run over by a taxi tomorrow and this is all that you will be remembered for in your art?’

I never really took into account that I would find myself, less than a week after the opening, feeling both empty and a little lost. Plagued by self-doubt, and no amount of hearing that it was a good show from anyone seems to ease or silence that voice in my head breathing fear… that this is all there is. That I have let them go and that they are now no longer my story but someone else’s.

A week ago, I said that I found this miraculous… this very thing.

Who am I kidding!? I miss my babies! I had them in my studio for so short a time and though I am keeping myself busy… I suspect that I will only be happy when I have direction again, when I know that the next show is confirmed, that I have a new project to dive into. And how I NEED one right now. Not just any project, but a soul project… like it was producing this last series. Intense. I want the savage… I miss the artistic savage in me, able to lock herself away, cut out the world, cut out the material. Forget about the time I have now, to go to bed before 2 in the morning, to paint my nails perhaps.

What is my point?

I don’t know!

And that is the thought that is making my heart slip down through my tummy into my limbs. Everything feels kind of off and disjointed, a little dysfunctional, a lot less defined and clear.

I have been reading articles on the internet about the condition, but they all advise to gloss over it, to move on… whereas I fell genuinely the loss… almost as if I want to mourn a little the end of a chapter.

Yes, I will get over it. I just wanted to get that off my chest.

About Jenny Reyneke Art

My earliest memories are of pens, paper, paint, pastels and poetry. They delight me still.
This entry was posted in Reyneke Art and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Last of the roses. Dealing with post-exhibition blues

  1. paul nodwell says:

    I TOTALLY empathize with this Charlie Poet. While I am not faced with ‘needing’ to sell paintings to survive, I did make the decision to do no more shows. For the same reasons you cite. They are a ton of work and more than a bit conflicting. Perhaps because art is so subjective.

    Like you, I also miss many of the paintings I have sold. While I tell myself that “they are in a good home”….it runs hollow. I’d rather they were in mine. They are snapshots of a time and place and I love nothing more that having my walls filled with those snapshots. Keep on keeping on.

    Liked by 1 person

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