My heart fluttered as I opened the door to a hectic room in transition. Paintings speckled the walls and floor; some awaited installation while others were scheduled for pickup. My own paintings welcomed me in the center of the room, perched against a display case.
As I lugged each canvas to the trunk of my car, I thought fondly of the exhibit’s reception. What a night! Delicate, intricate, curious artworks decorated the high walls and cluttered every tabletop. The eclectic array complimented the season’s Christmas trees and twinkling lights, elegantly fusing inspiration with tradition. The space was large and modern, but a warmth radiated from each handmade creation.
I was grateful for the chance to dress up! Usually, I don my sweats and baggy sweaters, keeping it real as I chase my toddlers round the house. But this night, I wore a long, elegant black dress and skinny stilettos. I sipped champagne and lost myself in the bustling crowd, spying the gallery-goers who paused to study my paintings.
What a humbling feeling!
The night was long, busy, and happy. My partner’s family made the long drive north just to celebrate with me, and I can’t express how moved I am for their effortless support. (It still brings me to tears, knowing I got to share this night with loved ones.) As the night drew to a close, we purchased a few handcrafted ornaments for our Christmas trees—keepsakes to remind us of that chilly November evening for years to come.
And now my gallery paintings are home, sitting beside newer works. I’ve since evolved my style slightly, and have moved on with “better” goals in mind. But time has shown me the importance of savoring these soft, merry moments. The pure, unbridled joy I felt that day was unparalleled (apart from my marriage and kiddos’ births of course). That kind of happiness is a window into a soul’s truest nature. It’s a mark of self-discovery.
That said, I’ll carry this experience close to my heart. Whether I’m building worlds from paint or words or a camera, I know that what makes me come alive is creating. And, what I find even more fulfilling is sharing my creations with those who in it find meaning.