We've talked about this recently, but the other night I was handed another example in real life.

We had gone to an event called Velvet Dreamscapes, staged by the fire artists group Nameless City and other accumulated artists.  There was music, poetry, fire spinning, just a loosely organized, fun evening of hippie art. 

One artist we were familiar with already, Keith Prossick, having met him at a regional burn and having attended a recent show of his.  You can see — and buy — his work at

As we were leaving the front hall of the house where his work was hung, I heard a young woman explaining to someone else this critical fact about the painting they were standing in front of:

"It's not finished until someone buys it and takes it home."

Keith says he always adds, "...or until I die."

Either way, a work of art is not complete until the AUDIENCE is given a shot at it.  If you want to get very theoretical about it, read The Gift, by Lewis Hyde.  (Also Hyde's Trickster Makes This World.)

If that's not your speed, then think of these two artists: Emily Dickinson and Vincent van Gogh. Neither was well known in their lifetimes.  Emily wrote in secret and in fact left instructions to burn her work after her death.  Vincent sold almost none of his canvases before he died.

In both cases, a sibling rescued the work and then made it their business to make sure that the world, the AUDIENCE, saw it.

Without that AUDIENCE, Emily Dickinson's poetry would be a pile of ashes; Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night would be landfill.  Don't make your siblings have to do the work for you.  Share your work with your AUDIENCE now.  Let us in.