Saturday, October 7, 2017

Beyond Blessed

The long awaited opening of my solo show was Friday night, October 6th at the Valley Art Center in Clarkston, Wa. Though a little nervous about the event I went with a light heart full of hope and anticipation. I'd had a little conversation with God that morning about my hopes for the show and felt like he was replying, "Just trust me on this." So I tried my best not to worry, to just go and enjoy myself. 
A happy and relaxed me before the show!
 I arrived a little before 4 p.m. and the volunteers at the gallery had everything ready to go. They had hung and placed my art in such a way as to really make it shine and I was so pleased. 
Miniature paintings tastefully displayed.
View of the front window.
 My guests started arriving shortly thereafter and within half an hour the gallery was full of art lovers and friends!
My first guests!
More guests!
Many of the people were good friends I've known a long time. Some were past clients. Some folks were new acquaintances and some I had never met, but all were excited and interested in my art and I was incredibly humbled by the fact that they had come and by the wonderful compliments they had for my work. 
 I was trying very hard to take time to visit with everyone that came, but at times it got a little crazy as more people were arriving than I ever dreamed would come.
A quiet moment with a very dear friend.
 And then it happened.....I had my first sale! One of my past clients fell in love with "Lady Bluetail" the rare little bird that visited our valley last December and the first painting I had completed for the show.
Lady Bluetail
 It was interesting to visit with folks and find out their thoughts on my work and what appealed to them. There is no way to predict what will resonate with someone when you paint it, no way to guess what will sell. I certainly had my favorites, but I was surprised and delighted when many people started gravitating toward my painting "Feel Free to Hunt" which depicted an encounter I had with a coyote as I watched it hunting one day. The story behind it can be found here:
Me and "Feel Free to Hunt"
No one was more pleased than me when it became the second painting to sell that evening! And more good things just started happening from there! 
Ready to Go-black lab pup
There were many moments in the evening that really touched my heart and blessed me beyond measure. One of those came when a past client of mine saw this drawing of a black Lab puppy. He fell in love with it and bought it, then searched me out and asked if the puppy in the drawing was his Cassie. Some time ago he had gotten this little black lab pup and asked me to do a portrait of her. I took many photos of her then completed a portrait for him. A while later I had completed this drawing using some of the other photos I had taken at that time, but had never told him about it as I was using it for an example when I met with other pet portrait clients. Incredibly, he recognized his dog in that drawing and was moved to tears when I told him it was indeed his Cassie. Of course, that got me crying, too. It's incredible to me that something I've created can touch someone that way.
Maggie - "It's my chair"
Another touching moment came when I saw a good friend standing in front of this drawing of my dog Maggie. He seemed very serious and lost in deep thought as he looked at it. Her knew Maggie very well and it sparked some good memories of her and his dogs and walks we shared. Again, some deep emotions welled to the surface and again, I was deeply touched by this response to my art.
Special friends at my show
The journey to this show has been an incredible experience for me. My opening night was a great success because of the love, support, and prayers of so many people who believed in me including family, friends, clients and the hard-working volunteer staff at Valley Art Center. I can not express my thanks enough to all of you, those who were there and those who couldn't make it. But mostly I would like to thank my Creator for giving me the talent to be an artist and showing me how I could use it to enrich the lives of others. It has long been my dream to paint in this way and God has been answering that prayer in amazing ways. This scripture verse came to me today from Ephesians 4:20,
"Now glory be to God who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of - infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes."
Thanks to God and all of you, I am beyond blessed!