I’ve always been an artist in some way.
When I was a kid, I would write short stories and try to draw pictures and illustrations to go with the text. I have countless sketchbooks that I filled with pencil drawings or line drawings made with ink.
When I was in my twenties, I started working with charcoal, cante and pastels and working on canvases. I had a brief foray into oil paint and did some mixed media pieces. Eventually an art night led me to start working with acrylic paint and after a couple of paint nights, I wanted to see what I could do on my own. I wanted to create my own pieces and see where my brush would take me.
Although I’ve sold quite a few of those abstract pieces of art that I did with acrylic paint, the idea of showing my art anywhere was always kind of frightening. I had once experience with an art show that was not positive. When I went to see my pieces in the show, they had been shoved into the back of a dark room and no one could even see them.
It was a leap of faith creating a Facebook page just for my art and following that with a page on my website. I have no problem putting my books out there into the world. However, my art is different. With books, someone has a few pages to connect with the story. With art, a viewer has to connect right away with the image I’ve painted on the canvas.
I’ve been learning to paint with the pallet knife for a few months now and have been having a lovely time doing it. I’ve learned about myself as an artist, stretched beyond what I thought I was capable of and have become comfortable attacking the canvas with paint and seeing what I can create. I enjoy painting so much more now (when I’m not being hard on myself!).
The art show on November 6th was an amazing experience.
It was held at Flowers by Maggie and the shop was a lovely home to our art. The exhibit featured three other artists and it was so wonderful to see all of our different styles in the room. We had quite a flow of people come in and the only real lull in the day came towards the end. We were so busy, and it was a lovely way to spend the day.
More than anything, it was a joy to talk to people about my art. I got asked about my technique, how I get the inspiration was for my pieces and how it differed from writing in terms of it being a creative outlet. I was lucky enough to sell two pieces of my art and the day gave me the inspiration to paint more.
There was a part of me that felt like an imposter for the first few minutes. My internal voice kept telling me that no one would think I was an artist, and I would be laughed out of the shop. It shouldn’t have been a surprise that my internal critic showed up, he tends to play the same tricks when I’m writing.
Thankfully, I sold a piece within moments of the exhibit opening and that put all doubts about my place in the gallery and my skill as an artist to rest. In the end I realized that I approach art the same way I approach writing. I always write the story that I would want to read, and I suppose I paint the canvas that I would hang in my home. The fact that people reacted so positively about my art was the icing on the cake.
I am an artist through and through, whether with words or with paint. It was a gift to be able to share this day with my three other gifted artists and to realize that this was a world that I fit within. My first art show taught me a lot about myself, and I walked away with a very important lesson learned: It was the canvases sold that was important, but the connection I made with so many people that mattered.It will be something that I will remember every time I approach the canvas.
With thanks to my teacher Sylvia for the incredible gift that she’s given me. Thanks also go out to my fellow artists that I shared the day with March and Abby. It was a beautiful day because of all of you and you made my first show a joy. Thank you to Maggie, your store was the perfect canvas for the day.
Thank you to everyone who came by to see me and to take in all the art that was at the show. You honoured all of us by coming. I can hardly wait until the next show in the Spring!
Click below to check out photos of me, Sylvia, Marg and Abby and my art!