To many people (who don’t paint), being an “artist” seems very romantic. Forgetting the struggles of getting the painting right, getting the money to buy the paint and other supplies, and money to put food on the table, yes, it is romantic. I’m defining romance in terms of deep passion. Without the passion, it wouldn’t be worth the struggles.
Friday evening I had the thrill of having my work noticed, appreciated. I learned to say thank you and not, then, blabber on about how much I love painting, how addicted I am to creating something out of nothing. Just say thank you. Yes, I do appreciate the appreciation.
Through the arrangement and generosity of Phil Secord of the Secord Gallery where I exhibit in Halifax, a painting of mine was auctioned off at a California Wine Dinner to benefit the Canadian Museum of Immigration. Wine is not really my thing but the food was great. And the people were impressive, including the host, the Consul General of the United States, Richard Riley. Apparently my painting had been hanging in his house for the two weeks preceding the event. He told me he very much enjoyed living with my work.
During the dinner, images of the items to be auctioned were displayed on a huge screen on the stage: wine packages, dining invitations, a week at a ski resort, a golf retreat at two of the best resorts in Canada, a skybox for the Rush concert with twelve guests. AND my painting! Every time my name, then a photo of me, followed by my painting was displayed, I told my table-mates: that’s mine!!!
I was billed as the Master of Today. Then there was a painting by a student at the Art College, the Master of Tomorrow, Erika Stephens-Moore. When the bidding began on mine, part of me wanted to hide under the table, but I did enjoy seeing the speed at which the price rose. Both paintings were bought for fair market value. That’s good. It does hurt when the price is not equal to the artwork.
After so many years of working hard, staying with it, I felt completely comfortable in the role of “Master”. I’ve never had doubts that this is what I want to do–to paint. It’s good to be thought of as a serious artist. It’s taken years to get here and I’m happy it is Today.