The final stages of creating a show are equal parts exhaustion and elation. Still so many details to attend to, but the payoff begins early and rolls right through the month. The show doesn’t officially open until Thursday, but here are a few of the gifts I’ve already enjoyed:
· The spreadsheet of tasks associated with each painting and with the show in general is pretty much filled in with details and checkmarks. So darn satisfying!
· The gems I’ve been crafting are all gussied up in their custom frames (or “Tiffany Boxes” as a friend calls them) and safely delivered to the gallery. Relief!
· The first sale happened moments after we unwrapped the paintings at the gallery--nice!
· My least favorite job--promoting the show--has the most enjoyable side effect: notes from far-flung friends and relatives with updates about their lives or their personal responses to the art.
That last one is always the most treasured gift of all. Don’t get me wrong, I love to be able to pay the bills, so sales are right up there. But after months in the studio alone, with input and feedback from only a trusted few, it is impossible to know how the work will be received. Will people notice the shifts that feel monumental to me, but are probably incremental at best to the casual observer?
This week I received a “golden nugget” email from my early landscape teacher, Suzanne Brooker. Suzanne is also the author of The Elements of Landscape Oil Painting (Watson Guptil, 2015). In response to my show announcement, she emailed me this blessing:
“These paintings are so very elegant, like visual poems. It's the sign of a mature artist who allows the viewer more room to participate in the work, traveling through the space at their own speed to discover or dream along the way. These pieces demonstrate a coming home to the heart of your art. Here lies a truth in the sensual beauty of the visual world. You have arrived at your "signature", the mark that separates you from any other painter.”
I haven’t talked with Suzanne about my work in ages, so for her to recognize this evolution--the challenge of my past two years--and then put it into words was more validation than I could have hoped for. Thank you, Suzanne, for taking the time to share your observations with me, and for allowing me to share them here.
Tomorrow, Sunday, promises yet another high: seeing the show hung at the gallery. And a week from today, the opening reception (details below). I will be honored by all those who are able to attend, and I hope you are among them.
I am always curious to know how people receive the art—where does it take you and what feelings does it evoke for you? What questions do you have about it? Do you have a favorite piece, and why? Let me know, if you are so inclined.
As with my last show at Fountainhead, this time my work will be exhibited alongside elegant floral paintings by D. Jordan Parietti. Jordan appreciates light and atmosphere every bit as much as I do, and I think you will love her timeless still lifes.
Opening Celebration from 5pm-7pm on Saturday, March 3rd
Show runs March 1 - March 31
625 W McGraw St. (on top of Queen Anne hill)
Seattle, WA 98119
Thursday – Sunday, 11-6
All of the pieces are now available for viewing and purchase on Fountainhead's website.
First chance to see the work in person is at Fountainhead on Thursday, March 1 at 11am when the gallery opens, or by personal appointment.
Finally, if you have friends or family who might enjoy the artwork or the opening, I would consider it a gift if you shared this post with them. Thank you!