Being a professional artist can be a solitary profession, at least for me when I create the art it is. But I have never been alone in my art journey. I have had and continue to have wonderful people in my life who support me, cheer me on, help me up when I struggle, continue to motivate me and some who also help sell my art.
Ten years ago this past spring I put on my very first solo art show. It seems so long ago and so much has happened in my life and with my art since that day. My friend Sherri DeTonnancour had just opened a new spa, Heaven Essence Day Spa, with friend Holly Hayes. I had know Sherri for sometime and she has been a huge supporter of my art since I first started to paint in the fall of 2006. The ladies asked me if I would like to have an art show at their Grand Opening, I was totally on board. At the time I didn't have a clue as to how to put on a show; I had been in a few group shows, so how hard could it be?
The thing about having an art show is that you have to have stuff like walls or grids to hang your art on, I didn't have grids, I didn't even know what they were, as for walls, the show was to take place in the spa's upstairs mezzanine room, which had mostly half walls and a tall wall, which were freshly painted. We tried to think of how we could hang the art without wreaking the new wall but couldn't come up with anything great, but I knew just the person to ask. I went to Delta Art Supplies where I bought my paint and asked owner John Scott what I should do, or if he sold something I could use. John being John offered to lend me a bunch of grids and easels, he really saved the day and the show.
My family helped me get the word out, make signage, and Scott Hayes of the St. Albert Gazette wrote a great story about the show. We got the grids up and then realized we needed to back them with fabric. It's funny how we worked it all out and two years later when I joined the Night of Artists they used the same techniques. Once we had the grids and easels set up, I hung every painting I had painted, bought wine and some food, had a guest book, a prize giveaway and I was ready to sell.
The show took place over a Friday evening and all day Saturday. A lot of people came, some came from my guest list, some came from Sherri and Holly's, it was a great mix, they got some new clients and I got some new followers. I met a lot of people and it was my first art show that our Mayor at the time, Nolan Crouse attended. We had a mutual friend who I just happened to have painted so we had a lot to talk about. That was my first show he attended, but I'm pretty sure he attended almost every other one I was in during his time as mayor. He is a great supporter of the arts.
I will never forget that show, I will never forget how naïve I was about putting on a solo show, and I'm grateful for that, I didn't overthink anything and just kind of went with the flow.
Sherri and Holly have both been great supporters of my art, and me a supporter of their wonderful spa, they have hung my art since they opened the spa and have sold many pieces over the years. They are both gracious and kind and a lot of fun to be around.
I'm grateful for these two ladies, for their continuing support, their kindness and generosity. Just today, they sold another piece for me.