Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lessons From The Road

Just back from the long trip down island to attend/display/pickup work at the Sidney Fine Arts Show. And it was a real 'learning' trip. I was first camped out at a moderately priced hotel - great location virtually across the street from the show venue - and I got an education on 'single-woman-on-trip'. For any single woman, travelling alone is a whole 'other kettle of fish'. You have to have a heightened sense of your environment. NEVER stay in a ground floor room that has poor security - obviously - and that's just what I first got as accommodation. Now, I admit to being reticent about 'making a noise' when I'm faced with situations. My generally laid-back attitude just goes along with whatever. And I did set up camp in this room that was decidedly one of the 'cheepseats' of this hotel. The room was dingy; kinda smelly of old cigarettes and dogs; broken knobs and locks and a bathroom fan that sounded like the room was about to launch itself. I just thought what-the-hey-ho I'm just sleeping here. OK. Then the next door folks moved in. Thin walls can be added to the list. AND they had a dog. That they left alone. While they went out. The dog barked. Constantly. After 3/4 of an hour of this, I had enough and went to the front desk to complain. And the front desk said, "We can phone the room and ask them to keep the dog quiet."
....um....not really a good answer.
Anyway, after explaining the 'left the building' scenario, I was upgraded to a new 2nd floor room. Now, this room was great and made me realize how I needed to speak up right away when things are unacceptable.
Lesson 1.
I walked all over the little town of Sidney. Talked to assorted folks and enjoyed it immensely. While wandering about I went into the 'Peninsula Gallery' in Sidney, a most posh and respected business in the art world down there. At first I was only considering 'looking' but after some minutes gave myself a big kick.......and spoke to the lovely lady behind the desk. I admit to being coy at first -not introducing myself as an artist and all - but we did get around to that and - in my inner jaw dropping self - got a very welcoming response. And left feeling very positive.
Lesson 2.
The show was exceptional. Such good work. But a very conservative audience. The works that were sold were of a more 'traditional' genre. HUGE attendance - I don't think that I've ever seen such a well attended show. My work was certainly different. No, I didn't sell. Disappointing, certainly, but not crushing because I learned that the paintings with the flowers are not as 'good' as the 'detail design' of the first ones. (Like 'DISCONNECT' featured as a title image here) And that knowing your audience really helps.
Lesson 3.
I moved over to my dear friends after 3 days at the hotel and immediately felt the difference of being at home - so to speak. I had been hesitant to stay there as they had just lost a very dear friend and were wrapped up in a lot of details attached to a time like this but I'm so so glad they opened their arms to me at this hard time. I was privileged to also be included in the extended family dinners of the departed friend. I was swept up in what real love and good friends are. HUGELY grateful for this experience because I also got to mourn my Dad and the passing of a fine fine friend in an environment that was so healing. I came home with new family in my life.
Lesson 4.
I really love being down island. The weather is so much better. The vibrant art scene. The friends. The vibe. Just everything. I need to move.
Lesson 5.
I have homework to do........
Painting: 'Traveler' by Sasha Pepper

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