As an artist, I have a unique opportunity to contribute to the world in unconventional ways. I work with a handful of charities each year and am fortunate to be able to do what I love to do, and then donate artwork to auctions that help raise money for variety of worthy causes. Last night, I attended the Pacific Coast Dreamin’ Barefoot Ball to benefit the Bolsa Chica Conservancy. The event was held at Sealegs at the Beach, in the beautiful city of Huntington Beach, California. The Conservancy is a wonderful organization and the event location couldn’t be more beautiful; situated directly across the street from the Bolsa Chica wetlands. The house was packed with supporters, the weather was perfect, and for the first time since I painted the piece nearly 7 years ago, I was finally willing to part with “The Steves.”
Just like all of my work, “The Steves” took months to complete. I DO have a day job that actually demands a good deal of my time and I get asked frequently where I find time to paint at all. The answer is, whenever, however, and wherever I’m able. Most of my work is done outdoors. My husband and I are avid campers and outdoors(wo)man. I paint at lakes, at the beach, in front of creeks, in the mountains, forests, parks, my backyard, shoot, anywhere I can pop out my table and set up. Its actually really common for passers-by to come over to take a peek at the process, then realize with surprise, I’m not painting the landscape. I would not be surprised to find out that each one of my paintings probably has the dust of a pinecone, grains of sand from the beach, traveling seed fuzz, or teeny tiny bug parts mixed in with the paint.
I arrived at the beach around 6:15 p.m. and while you probably think that it’s an easy feat jumping into a mix of 350+ people you don’t know and pointing out your artwork, I can tell you with great assurance, it’s the farthest thing… from THAT. I was self-conscious and unsure. I had taken a hiatus from the gallery circuit and that fact is, when you are public with something so personal, you have to still the voices squealing in your head to run away quick and save yourself any chance of rejection. It turns out, for being the first time in a while in a public setting as a artist who is showing artwork in the world, I couldn’t have asked for a more positive, supportive, ego-nurturing evening. The bidding page for “The Steves” was full. I found out later in the evening that people were actually looking to meet me, excited about the piece, hoping to see more work. I found the couple who won the bid on their way out and introduced myself. My heart swelled when I was hugged and told that they knew when they saw it, they weren’t leaving without it, and today, and “The Steves” is on its way to its new beach home, with the perfect spot already picked out.