Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving thanks

Thanksgiving was one in a series of frenzied, art-filled days. And today, the day after, I've had a moment to sit and think and recognize how lucky and how thankful I am.

I'm most thankful to my mother, for supporting in me, for my entire life, the courage that has let me embark on this painting adventure. I'm thankful, too, for putting me in a position that has made this start-up possible.

I'm thankful to my husband, for his patience and support, and I'm thankful that he's an artist, too, and understands.

I'm thankful to my family, who encouraged me to try this, urged me on when I flagged, and gave me their confidence and optimism when my own failed me.

I'm thankful to my friends, who supported me in this from the first day. They've come to my openings, bought my paintings, commissioned work, read my blog, showered me with love and enthusiasm and helped me at every step.

In a strange and roundabout way, I'm grateful to the world of journalism, to the Times Herald-Record, which kicked me out of a life I'd thought was mine, and to the Kent County Daily Times, which showed me with such clarity that for me, the joy of journalism was gone.

I'm thankful to the painters of the Wallkill River School, who took me in when I felt so orphaned. They loved me, taught me, shared their skill and knowledge and hope with me, and told me, in every way possible, that I could, indeed, be a painter.

I'm thankful to the hundreds and hundreds of strangers who've reached out to me. The people who shared their lives and landscapes with me on my trip to Wisdom. The people who stop me every time I paint outdoors, and talk about my painting and their painting, and their hopes and dreams of life. And I am grateful to the strangers who bought my paintings even though they don't know me at all.

I'm especially grateful to my stepdaughter, Erika, the very first person to see my very first painting. She believed in me from that minute, with an unwavering positivity that has truly astounded me.

Indeed, I am a grateful, thankful painter this post-Thanksgiving Day. I am blessed. Thank you, each of you, all of you, thank you.

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