I recently entered into an abstract juried exhibition “Abstract X” hosted by Southlight Gallery this past week. Imagine my surprise when I learned that two of my pieces had been selected to be a part of this show (squeal)! It’s been awhile since I’ve been a part of a show; or even held a solo exhibition. I have been so busy painting away, working on this new series so that I have a ‘body of work’ to showcase, it’s left little room for anything else. There’s always some trepidation to paint your heart and then unveil for the world to see and comment on. You do wonder if there will be those it resonates with as it does you? I’ve learned from family and friends they are drawn to either one or the other series I paint- hardly ever both. And that’s okay. That is art! And the one’s I think are my weakest paintings, usually wind up being the one’s everyone loves. Go figure! Lol
For me the tree series allows me to explore my relationship with nature and my experiences in a much different manner than when I do the abstracts, for example. There’s a “peaceful” space that lies in the monotony of creating a thousand leaves. It’s like my “Into the Wild” a thousand mile journey of a woman finding herself and losing herself simultaneously via a paintbrush vs. the trek through the wilderness. And then you take a look at my new abstract series and you see a new outlook on life, a new twist, a variation of “me” and I am having a blast pushing and exploring techniques, and stumbling along this new path more than ever. In fact, I am batting/painting about a 50/50 success rate. But that’s okay too! My mom always reminds me of Babe Ruth in these types of situations. “Remember sweet girl, he may have had the most home runs; but he also led the league in most strike outs!” That is my license “to let go”. So much of the time we can live in “FEAR”, that we become paralyzed to venture out of our comfort zone. I guess really the delving into the abstract region has helped me in that respect. So I just do it! No overthinking (for the most part) and funny thing, it’s usually when I am in the middle of pushing pass the “I totally screwed it up” phase, that it begins to emerge and transform into what I didn’t plan and a much more successful painting than my original sketches or ideas.
This whole experience of “you never know until you try” gave me the courage to reach out and to enter into the exhibition. The night started out with my mommy showing up to pick me up with flowers in her hand to celebrate the night! Melting!! And my oldest, Lindsay, and a couple of her friends showed up for support! That seriously made my night! I had such an awesome time at this show. My mom did too! It was one of her favorites she has been to. It wasn’t because I happened to be in it. It was the vibe! There was just an easy going, laid back atmosphere and everyone we encountered, both the patrons, as well as, the other artists, we’re just fun and amazing! I love going to shows where there are so many different types of people underneath one roof. It allows me to relax and have fun. And I more times than not, leave feeling more inspired and ready to hit the studio again. I absolutely love being a part of a show where honest to God there’s so much damn talent it’s crazy. It challenges me to be better in every aspect of an artist. I’ll see a new line, a new technique I’ve never explored, a new color combo, it’s like being a kid in a candy store! As we walked around taking every artist’s work into our spirit, it made me feel alive and so grateful to be given a chance as an emerging artist to be a part of this experience. Blessed! When I met the gallery owner she was so warm and inviting and we embraced in a hug. I hug everyone! It’s just me! Lol When she told me that I received “honorable mention”, for both “To the Sea” and “Within the Light”, oh my God, I jumped! No really like a little kid. I jumped, squeaked and clapped! I look back now and giggle thinking of that first impression. However, that’s me- a goof ball still at 44! 😉 She told my mom and I to go check it out. So we high tailed around the corner to find one of my pieces, and my mother was grinning from ear-to-ear when she spotted it in the front room and screeched, “It’s in the window!” At that moment, I am not sure who was more excited, me or my mums? That made my night! To see my mom so proud of me, knowing of my ongoing trials and tribulations, all my hard work, long hours, and sacrifices, her constant support- I was recognized! I received an “honorable mention” on both of my pieces entered. Truth be told, that is just as much for every friend who buys and supports my art endeavors, for each of my family members who have sacrificed not seeing me as I live in my studio, and for their constant spiritual, moral and financial support! It’s for them too!
I would like to express my gratitude to Pam Zambetti, director of Southlight Gallery, for giving a new artist the opportunity to be a part of your gallery and a platform to be seen. For those who voted for me, “thank you, thank you, thank you!” For the other artists, “Thank you for the memories and the inspiration!” And for those who are on this journey with me, “Hell yeah! We did if!” Onward!
~ ❤ & light ~