Friday, August 19, 2011

May I Borrow Your Crystal Ball?

Had a bit of a scare this week...

As some of you know, I teach microbiology part-time at a local community college. When the semester started this past Monday, I had only six students enrolled in my class. That's not very many, and I know the college folks were seriously considering transferring the six to the the morning class, taught by another instructor. And I'd be unemployed for the rest of the year.

However, all six students work full-time during the day and were unable to switch. Since micro is the last course these guys need to continue on into nursing school, simply canceling the class would have screwed them up majorly. So the class will continue on, and I'll be receiving a paycheck for the rest of the year, barring complications on my part.

But the scare brought to mind why I promised myself, years ago, that I'd never again have only one financial lifeline. It's so easy to have that lifeline cut for any number of reasons, or for no reason at all. I'd love to have a Plan B -- some kind of income-generating enterprise to supplement the teaching position.

Frankly, other than selling paintings, I don't have a Plan B, and art sales are definitely suffering during these horrid economic times (which could get worse in the days ahead according to some economists).

The only thing I can do at this point is to go ahead and make paintings that will be put up for sale...some day. I don't know if this recession will end in my lifetime -- I hope so, but who knows?

In any case, I still plan to paint landscapes that I want to keep -- but sell them if/when the right opportunity comes. Not just any opportunity, but the right one. I won't be so easy-going in the future, even if it costs me sales. I just can't invest large quantities of time or money, or have pieces hanging in a gallery with no financial commitment on the part of the gallery owner, while I try to figure out how to survive.

Sometimes I really wish I could look into the future. Maybe I could then figure out where to go with things. But I guess all I can do is my paint my best artwork possible and hope enough people (who are surviving the recession) will like the paintings, too.