Mom and I spent all day yesterday at the Art of the Carolinas expo, followed by a tour of several of the local art galleries at Art After Hours here in town. It was like a dream come true - entire days of painting, shopping for art supplies and visiting art galleries. But it gets even better! While touring one of my favorite local galleries, Sunflower Studio, the owner asked Mom, Steve and me if we would be interested in being featured artists at a show there next fall! I nearly fainted because Linda's artists are truly talented, and doing a show at her gallery would be such an unbelievable honor. Luckily, my Mom (who is a lifelong professional artist) patiently went through all 150+ of my paintings today and helped pick out several that she considered "show-worthy" now, and also gave me some honest and helpful critique and tips to use in creating more work that will hopefully be even better by the time our show date is set.
In light of the potential show next fall, I'm really glad I made a few purchases at the expo - some more pastels, pastel surfaces, a drawing board and blending tools, and Mom even got me a fabulous tabletop easel box which will be perfect for classes and workshops! While at the expo, we also had a blast visiting the various vendor booths where we were able to try all kinds of media and surfaces, and were kindly given several samples of products including Prismacolor pens, Strathmore papers, Cretacolor pencils, and Sennelier watercolor paints, among others. I got so inspired with days of art immersion that I decided tonight to try my Mungyo Gallery Artist Soft Oil Pastels on the Strathmore Paper mixed media samples.
The oil pastels seemed to glide surprisingly easily onto the mixed media paper. But I am thrilled I decided to go ahead and buy the set of size 0 firm Colourshapers, as these were invaluable in blending the very small areas. They made easy work of precisely blending the pastels, especially on these small surfaces.
I still have so much to learn and a long way to go to feel really ready for a show, but fortunately my artist/musician mother and my photographer/framer husband will be the obvious Lead Artists, letting me share just a bit of the limelight. LOL. And hopefully by the time next fall rolls around, I'll be able to look back to where I am today and see tremendous improvement between now and then.