Love deeply. Laugh. Cry. Talk to God. Be realistic about the to-do list. Stay in touch. Hug. Dream. Smile. Break Bread often with Family. Spend Time with your Girlfriends. Shop til you Drop! Extend Grace. Be Quick to Forgive and Slow to Anger. Walk. Breathe. Sing. Dance. Read. Eat Chocolate. Savor a Good Glass of Wine. Wiggle your Toes. Sleep well. Life is Good!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

This Life I've chosen ... Part I

For years I've attended outdoor art shows and admired artists of all genres. Considering how easy their lives seemed...charmed. Fantasizing about painting all day or sitting at the wheel making pottery or working whatever the craft may be. Trying to imagine the leisure. The creative ideas that give way to a flourishing existence of balance and serenity and a profitable art business ...... what a bunch of baloney ... as I've realized!

Well, let me clarify first that when it was a hobby, I painted between laundry, gardening, errands, cooking, vacuuming, and the 1002 other things we do to keep a home running. I felt balanced then. Really! I did. And maybe a little serene at times. I even had time to read. I didn't have an outlet at that time for my work though and it began piling up against the wall. I was encouraged by family, friends and even strangers to step out. So I gave the art show idea a try.

I was mentored in the beginning by another artist who advised me about packaging and applying to shows and artist's statements and dozens of other details. I prepared. My husband gave me a tent for Christmas! The decision was made right then! I had prints made and my girls helped me package them. I bought mesh walls for the tent and print bins and tables and made a sign that read "Terri Keller, Artist" with a crab on of my crabs. We arrived on site before daylight to set up. By the way, I think my husband could now put a tent up blindfolded! Until the show started, we twiddled our thumbs and I nervously rearranged things over and over. My oldest daughter worked that show with me. What a salesperson! I didn't touch money all day!

It was a lot of tired backs, aching feet and sunburned skin, but I had a blast! People liked my work. They even bought it! I was overwhelmed at that first show. By the end of the day I was in tears. Not because I was exhausted...though I was. People were giving me their money because they liked my paintings. Who knew?!! Two weeks later I did another show! I was hooked. And now approaching a year since that first show, I have a full spring schedule and I'm beginning to develop a presence in the area. Sometimes I feel like a micro-celebrity in my circle of friends, although knowing I have oodles of learning and growing to do keeps me humble. I'm not ego pricing .... yet!!!

More to come ... How not to give it away. How I maneuvered the judgment of others. Endless to-do lists.

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