I have had one of the most exhilarating/exhausting weeks of my entire life.With the mad rush to get our Milwaukee Design Collection ready in time for a heavily advertised and anticipated Holiday Open House/Soft Opening on Friday night, I'd hardly had a chance to think about the fact that I'd been invited to paint at the 2009 Open Canvas Fundraiser- the very next night!
When I arrived at the PH Dye House last night I was instantly overwhelmed, and quite frankly a little intimidated. Everywhere I looked I saw the most AMAZING paintings being created by nearly 90 artists. These were people with years of experience, many of them with fine art training, which I do not possess...
I was one of the very last to arrive, and my anxiety level went through the roof when I learned they would not be able to accommodate "my painting style"(I paint on the floor, working horizontally over my canvas). They were expecting upwards of 1000 people over the course of the evening, and I'd be in the way! I took a deep breath and followed the incredibly kind volunteer to my work station. With only 4 hours to create, I unpacked my paints and brushes, took another deep breath, and started in.
Obviously the kind of piece I'd sort of been planning on in my head would not be an option, so I decided to let the canvas tell me what to do, and go from there. What ensued was magic. About halfway through the evening, I looked behind me to find a small group of people watching me paint. A beautiful young woman looked at me with a sparkle in her eye and told me she loved it. We chatted for a few minutes, and before I returned to my work we decided to be new BFF's. She bid on my painting. About half an hour later she returned to inform me that she was officialy stalking my painting, and would not be going home without it! She bid again.
Beaming, I sauntered over to the artist's lounge to fetch myself another glass of red wine. On the way out a woman came up to me and asked if she could introduce herself. She was turned onto my blog awhile back, and just wanted to let me know how much she loved it! It was my first celebrity moment (HA!). Bursting with new confidence and aided by the glow provided by red wine, I made my way back to station #18 to finish my piece. My sparkly-eyed stalker stopped by with a girlfriend to bid again, and together we named it "OFF BROADWAY".
In the end, my new BFF and I raised $1,000.00 for a wonderful charity. And I will tell you, with much pride and a very full heart, that "OFF BROADWAY" was the 2nd highest bid painting of the evening! But the greatest gift of the night was that through my art, I connected with people. I moved them. I even turned one into a stalker. Sorry the drink didn't happen honey..FACEBOOK ME!