There are times in life when you prepare. You have a vision and keep at it. You take the photos; you paint and draw and print. The inventory builds up. The closets fill up. For years. Maybe even for decades.
Then one day, opportunity comes and you have that choice to make – a “branch point” – as Jon Kabat-Zinn calls it. “Should I go for it and make a business selling my art?”
In late November 2018, my husband, Robert and I had such a choice- we took the opportunity to rent a coveted studio/gallery space in a historic area of Sarasota. We listened to ourselves and each other. We conferred and determined that it was time to step out on the proverbial diving board and dive in! We signed.
Then, we dusted and painted, and added new lighting to create a clean, minimalist look and feel. Up went the large format floral photos (up to nearly six feet), up went the 5′ scrolls depicting abstract dancers – Butler on Pointe- as well as my sketches printed on wine bags, tea towels and more.
We now have an open studio and gallery in a historic artist colony in Sarasota, Florida and it is February, or as they call it here in southwest Florida, high season. For a little city on the bay in season, there is every form of art to choose from. People come from all over the world to enjoy the warmth of winter here with more amenities than I can mention now. And, tonight is our February Art Walk.
Monthly Art Walks at the studios of Towles Court provide an opportunity to meet the artists there as well as other creative people who often become our clients. My vision was to bring Joy to people through my work. Okay: joy, conversation, connection, new opportunities, and a bit of magic. And, so it is and so it is becoming.
At the January Art Walk two friends from different states in New England met again after 15 years, flying into each other’s arms right there in my little gallery. Joy indeed! I heard some groups of people talking through the evening about what they saw in our work. And, I repeatedly heard, “It’s so joyful!” That was gratifying and truly made the hard work worth it, especially when they wanted it as their own…in their home, office or patio.
In finding our little studio and saying: “Yes” to taking it on, I know that we were listening to our deeper selves, that place that has been calling out for years – “Hey you, remember me? Express yourself and share it.”
The choice to dive in has brought us and a number of those who visit our little gallery, a deeper sense of authentic joy.
-To be continued