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Letting go, again, some more, ongoingly…

leaves in water by Brenna Busse
September 29, 2018

Two art shows that I did just recently, Denver's Affordable Art Fair and the (unfortunately named) Starving Artist show in Milwaukee have as their premise: all art sold for $100 or under. Artists show seconds, older work, experimental work -- and no matter the original price or intention, must sell it for $100. And sell we do! Patrons line up hours before the show starts, gates then open, and artists are inundated. Such great energy. This year in Milwaukee, I was selling a piece from an unusual, unique series that I had made at the Grand Marais art colony on the glorious Lake Superior. The buyer was moved to tears by the piece, the natural materials, the story of its making. In that connection, I felt the jumble of letting go feelings: joy of release, appreciation of appreciation --- and the stark knowing that this piece, made at that time and place is entirely unique and will never come again. Each piece I make -- even those from a series -- is unique. I can never make it again, just like it was. They are like a "map" of my creative journey. So it is a profound moment to say goodbye to the pieces that I make and love. To let them go...

In my early days of making and selling, now 28 years ago, both my art and I were more raw. Healing and making were more interwoven. I would sometimes burst into tears when a buyer came forward, as I learned the art of letting go. My daughter, in her young wisdom told me that I needed to choose one to keep. She would help me pack pieces for an upcoming show, kissing each one goodbye as she tucked them in the bin, to go. In this time I have made hundreds and hundreds of pieces, each, in turn finding a place of love and honor in your (my dear collectors) homes, offices, studios. In this process, I have come to associate making art, with letting go. Maybe that is true of most artists: making to send out in the world, to be seen, to make a living. We make them, but they are never truly "ours". It is a rich blessing, and I appreciate all of you whom I have "let go" to... all my best, Brenna

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