Saturday, July 9, 2011
Reflections on Art, Fun, and Friends
Around the beginning of fall last year, I was imagining what direction to try to go with my art. I wondered to myself if I had it in me to work hard enough on the technical aspect of artmaking to build a coherent body of work suitable for showing.
Some folks had seen my art developing over the years. Many whom I've only known for the past few years, however, had no idea that their youth minister/preacher/Christian educator had an artistic side. It was kind of a closet passion, only to be revealed to people I could absolutely trust.
The journey to revelation has been rather long but in the past couple of years has accelerated. By December 2010 I felt ready to enter the college student holiday sale. Happily, four pieces sold. Then I showed some paintings to my PEO sisters, a most trustworthy group. Soon I was able to articulate my desire to have a show, and a couple of friends suggested ways I could pursue transforming this wish into a goal. Early this year, I got some valuable advice and help from various friends, including a couple of accomplished working artists.
I set myself the goal of having a showing of my paintings this year, and put that goal out onto the universe as I set to work and study. In typical universal fashion, forces combined, stars aligned, and I was able to realize my goal of publicly showing my art.
Funny how seriously the universe takes it when we make that wide-open appeal! The great goodness of the Divine means that when we offer out our sincere prayers in consonance with God's calling on our lives, and we work to grow into the fulfillment of our dreams, we find openings everywhere around us...even some we don't expect or think we deserve. God, you see, is no skinflint.
So, for those who have asked about and couldn't attend the opening on Friday night, here's the Readers Digest version. We ended up with 22 individual paintings, some as small as 9"x12" and the two largest being full size sheets of 140 lb. cold-press Arches watercolor paper, which measure 22"x30". They're hard to work with, chiefly because rather than 108 square inches of picture plane to compose, they present 660 square inches to compose. The great surfaces of wash are tougher to manage, also. But the images came together well and we were able to cover all three walls at The French Cuff and maintain visual integrity.
People started arriving at 5:00 to be greeted by the store's staff along with me and Sean. It was great fun to share refreshments and have a little wine toast as people milled about, asked questions about the work, and signed my memory/guest book. Dan arrived after work and we both enjoyed greeting friends and strangers alike as the gallery stroll got well underway. Live music on the little plaza outside the shop drew even more Davisites out for a pleasant summer evening.
A highlight for me was when two of my art professors, Isabelle Shaskan and Chris Daubert, came to visit. Both of them are accomplished working artists and have shared practical wisdom about color, design, composition, and execution with me and countless other students. It was a real compliment to have them there.
Beyond that, I was extremely touched that so many friends took the time and trouble to come to the show's opening and offer encouragement and good advice. This year I have been so abundantly blessed!
The evening seemed to fly by and closing time of 9:00 caught me a bit by surprise. As Dan and I walked the several blocks to the car, the sidewalks and streets of Davis still teemed with people-mostly "townies" who tend to come out once the students have left for the summer.
I think I like being "out" as an artist!