Thursday, November 13, 2008

Showing up at the show

Dolsontown Road, Middletown, NY. Oil, 12x12

Saturday evening was the opening reception fr "A Confession of Color," my first show. Not a one-man show, but a two-fer, which I shared with George Hayes.

This was a lucky pairing, I think. He's also starting out, he also loves color, and his work and mine looked good together. And he's a kind, sweet and patient man, the sort of person you want to share this kind of nervous time with, if possible.

And people came. Friends from the Times Herald-Record showed up in droves, full of love and the warmest support. Painter friends showed up, with all enthusiasm and hope, many with an ongoing sense of me as a painter. My daughter, Erika, and her good-guy boyfriend John showed up, too, dressed to the nines and full of the best sort of excitement.

I am still overwhelmed by the numbers of people, by the way they swelled my heart and warmed my soul. And I am overwhelmed, too, that they bought my paintings. And even better, they loved my paintings. I had the sublime opportunity of watching a number of them fall for paintings, and that was better than most things in life.

When I stand back and look at what I'm doing, it's terrifying. A smarter person would be putting off painting, searching for work, saving money for old age, saying there's no way on earth that it's possible to make it as a painter.

But when I watched people make contact with my art, the better person stood heads above the smarter person. The better person, that's the me who is driven, creative, willing to take risks. That's the one I like more. And I suspect that's the one those people at the opening befriended.

And so, in the end, though I might cry and wail in my tent on the riverbank, an old, impoverished and befuddled person, I will know that in my life, I listened to my heart, and I had the great good fortune to try something that old heart told me to try.

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