On this day of Thanksgiving, I want to share the many things I am grateful for. After many months of isolation and trying to get my inspiration back, I am happy to report that I am getting out more frequently and exploring new opportunities to display and sell my art.
It has been a very busy, sometimes frustrating and hectic, but overall rewarding time for me lately. Thanks to the vaccines and people getting used to wearing masks in public, I have returned to the things that are so essential to my happiness, like creating art, enjoying meals with friends and hiking in the Colorado sunshine.
Last weekend I participated in the Louisville Art Association Fall Member Show and Sale at the Louisville Center for the Arts. My latest painting, Wonderland, took Third Place and was also voted as People’s Choice.
It was a pleasant surprise to receive two awards in this show. Wonderland is named after Wonderland Lake in north Boulder. Four years ago I took a picture of this trail while heading to meet my young friend, Sarah, for a walk with her and her since departed dog, Daisy. I’d been meaning to paint it for a long time and finally began it in April. I set it aside for about five months when life got busy. I finally finished it in October and entered it into the fall show. I am thankful for all of the people who came to the show and voted for this piece. It did wonders for my enthusiasm to get back to creating and sharing my art.
Last week I was walking down Pearl Street and saw the new Pop! Gallery that is taking over the old Boulder Arts and Crafts Gallery building at 1421 Pearl Street, on the northern side of Pearl Street Mall. They were still setting up the place. I stopped in and inquired about renting a small space in which to show my wall art and prints. I was told I needed to be part of Open Studios to show my work there. I had always been resistant to joining as I live and work in a 590 square foot, one-bedroom apartment and felt that inviting strangers into my apartment was not practical. I am confident that soon I will be living in a larger place. So, I joined Boulder Open Studios and rented the space for the six-week duration of this holiday version of the Pop! Gallery. You can find my work on the second floor in the corner at the top of the stairs.
I am so honored and excited to be part of this amazing group of artists. Starting tomorrow, November 26, at 11 am, Pop! will be open for six weeks, until January 9, 2022. I was there yesterday, helping to hang handmade ornaments on the Christmas tree and painting pedestals for the front display window, where artists will do live painting demos in the huge windows. Painting the pedestals in the window may be the only "live mannequin" stuff I do, as I think that watching my slow and meditative painting process might be, literally, like watching paint dry. I am thankful for Boulder Open Studios and the many people who have encouraged me to join the organization after years of volunteering and working for them as a gallery attendant in the first Pop! Gallery in 2018.
There's more... A few days ago I was invited to participate in a small group show at the Pine Street Church in Boulder by a fellow Pop! artist, who saw potential in my work. The show begins this weekend and runs through January. Pine Street Church is located at 1237 Pine Street in Boulder, CO. I will drop off my artwork tomorrow. There will be a Holiday Market there, but the date has not yet been set. The other artists in the show are Michael Hamers, Karen Dombrowski-Sobel and Barbara Beasley. I am thankful to Mike for inviting me and look forward to being a part of this show with such a talented group. As soon as I know the date for the holiday market I will share it. I will have originals, prints, art cards and some handmade cat toys.
And, three original paintings are still up in Nederland at the Nederland Community Center at 750 CO-72 in Nederland, CO. You can make a day of it as it takes about a half hour to drive from Boulder up through the canyon to this higher elevation. There are beautiful hikes in the area like Caribou Ranch, Mud Lake and Indian Peaks Wilderness. If you aren’t into hiking, Nederland is a cute little mountain town with lots of shops and restaurants to enjoy. I am thankful for Annie Thayer and her hard work in putting this show together. I got a Second Place People’s Choice Award for the Fall Show. First Place went to a 12-year old girl, named Maddie, who shows great promise as a watercolorist. There’s nothing like the feeling of earning your first award and I am very happy for her. I sold Verdant Chautauqua to Sue, who has lived in the Boulder area for over 30 years and wanted to have a memento of this beautiful place for her new home in New Hampshire. Verdant Chautauqua prints will be available at both Pop! and the Pine Street Church.
Last but not least, I am thankful for the many friends and family who have seen me through some very hard times. Phone calls, FaceTimes and Zooms have kept my spirits up when I felt pretty alone in my little apartment. One of the best Zooms was when I got to see my first grandchild while I was having dinner with friends in Baltimore back in September. My son and his wife have made the choice not to share his image on social media and I respect their decision as I know how destructive social media can be for young people. So, no pics of the new member of the family will be shared. I am thankful for being able to see him in person and to hold him in my arms next weekend!
Sadly, I lost my dear sweet Otis, at the age of 19, in early October. I’d adopted him and his brother, Ellie, at the age of 13, to be my companion animals. I had lost my younger son, two weeks prior to meeting them in 2016 on my volunteer shift at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley. There was a note on their cards that said they wanted to go to a home where they could be together. My oldest son had said he thought he’d always have a brother and it was hard to imagine life without Wes. I knew I had to adopt these two and keep them together. Together we healed from our losses. Ellie passed in 2020 and Otis remained to keep me company throughout lockdown and isolation. I lasted without a cat for a whole five days. I adopted a stray, who I call Sunny. She’s a one year old and full of kitten energy after a slow transition period of getting to feel comfortable in my apartment. I’m thankful to Sunny for mending my broken heart with her silliness, her purrs and getting so comfortable in my small home.
Life has been crazy busy lately, but I am thankful to myself for remaining flexible, rolling with the punches and letting go of the things that no longer serve me. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!