An ethical dilemma どうしよう


I love yoga.  I have been doing yoga for almost 20 years.  Of course, you would never believe I’m doing for so long.  I’m not good at balancing myself…. I have never stood on my head….too scary.  However, I feel I’m addicted to yoga, or at least the feeling I get from stretching.  It’s great.

In my yoga class there is a very nice couple, who are about my age and both artists.  Since they gave me an invitation to the exhibition I went to the gallery on Grandville Island and was truly impressed.  Their artwork was outstanding. Beautiful.  I liked all of them, but especially the oil painting of Birch forest painted by the husband artist.  I was so drawn to it, stood in front of the painting for a long time.  How I wished I was rich, I would love to buy it if I could…..

So yesterday I went to my yoga class.  I was complementing about their paintings and how much I loved the one of Birch forest.  After the class, the husband artist came to me, gave me his card, and said, “Come pick up the painting from our house.”  I couldn’t believe what I heard.  “What?”

He said, “You loved it, right? I’ll give it to you.”    You know… it had a price tag of something like… more than $400.  Is he serious?  Is he really saying he is giving me the painting for free?  It is not right. It is really not right.  Artists are same as musicians.  First of all, you must be talented, then you train yourself for years, taking lessons is expensive!  You make your living by art making.  You spend hours and hours, you put in so much of yourself and your life to the art.  Since art is not a necessity for anyone, it’s very hard to make money, but you stick to it.  You just keep putting yourself….  Your artwork is  “you”.  I cannot receive it for free.  It hurts my conscience. What shall I do?

I decided to go to their house in a few days with Neil.  I don’t know what we will do, but I’ll let you know.





Author: Haruyo Abramson

I'm a musician, mom, and grandma, living in BC, Canada with my husband and three dogs.

2 thoughts on “An ethical dilemma どうしよう

  1. Dear Haruyo, I think that you should accept the painting and allow the artist to experience the joy of giving without a monetary value attached. It’s o.k. to be the “receiver, ” rather than the “giver” all the time. If you feel that you want to or need to reciprocate in some way, perhaps you could invite him and his wife over and give them a private piano recital (or a good Japanese meal!)
    Enjoy! Your sister-in-law, Sue


  2. Haruyo, please accept with joy the painting which has been gifted to you. The gift is obviously from the heart . The artist saw your pleasure in his painting and he must know that his creation is going to go to a home where it will always be a treasure.


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