Friday, November 11, 2011

Another One Behind Us

Well, we made it through another show. The lights and easels have been put away, and other than we’ll be eating leftover egg rolls for the next couple of weeks, things are pretty much back to normal around here.

There’s always a little bit of a let down when it’s all over. I’m a little lost, feeling as if I should be doing something, like cleaning or labeling, or wiping down frames or cutting up vegetables, or scrubbing bathrooms.

As I’ve mentioned, the closer we are to the show, the tighter I’m wound up. Adding to my pre-show anxiety, on Friday, the day before the show, we got three inches of snow. Yes, snow. Southern California city folk are known for freaking out about weather and we were expecting a passel of flatlanders (as we mountain folk affectionately call them). Attendance could end up being mighty skimpy.

Would they still show up? Local news was turning this little bit of early snow into the storm of the century. A news crew from one of the L.A. stations had been camped out in the grocery store parking lot for two days waiting for the storm. They kept asking residents if they thought it was going to snow. One of our local ladies responded, “Hell if I know. Ask the guy upstairs!” The reporter looked at her blankly, wondering who this guy was and where this “upstairs” place was.

Luckily, my fears were unfounded. We had a great turn out and people stayed and stayed. Just the way we like it.

Anyway, back to the show…I experienced something odd this year. I’m not one of those artists who have a problem selling my paintings. Some artists are reluctant to part with their “babies”, but I paint so darn much that I’m always running out of space. I have to sell them—or move to a warehouse—and that’s not going to happen. Of course, I have a stronger attachment to some pieces more than others, but in the end, I’d really rather share them with others.

This year was different though. I definitely felt a pang when a couple of my Mt. Whitney pieces were carried out the door. The hugeness of that entire experience had spilled out of my soul and into those paintings. The sweat, guts, anxiety, and exhilaration—plus a chunk of my heart—it was all there in the art I made.

Yet, here is the best and most amazingly cosmic part: some of these paintings were purchased as gifts for a young couple that hiked Mt. Whitney just one month before us. They too had trained hard for more than a year. It was a huge accomplishment for them too. How perfect is that?

It seems so right that so many of the pieces went to kindred spirits.

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