Isn’t it wonderful when you set a goal, and you far exceed that goal? I’m not talking about money, I’m talking about something much more important.
I’ve known for quite some time that I needed to make some personal changes in my life. I also have known that I needed to change the approach of the way I sell my artwork. These two things go hand in hand. Back in January the process of change began because of an article about my art that came out in the paper. It forced me to have contact with people who I have not talked with in years. It forced me to do a lot of things that I was not entirely comfortable with. I am a private person, I am set in my ways. I don’t like change and I don’t like not having total control. But I believe because it was meant to be, I was able to find the courage through the support of my friends, to open my home and my studio to the public.
I, no we, have worked weeks to plan and put together the 3 Wishes Studio open house. I have had a handful of people who have truly shown me support and helped me put together an exceptional day full of celebration. I have learned so much along the way, but I also know that I have a lot more to learn. I don’t necessarily mean about the art world, or about doing an open house, it is much more than that.
I am a control freak. Not in the mean kind of way, where I want to control other people and their actions. I want to control the circumstances that surround me, especially my business. I don’t like to ask for help and I try to do it all myself. Letting go, and allowing other people to help and provide input is a new concept for me. Pretty early in this endeavor I realized that because I had included other people to be a part of this whole process that things were not necessarily going to turn out the way I would have wanted. I kept telling myself to let it be what it will be. That sounds pretty simple, but trust me it wasn’t.
Naturally, I had a vision in my head of many people attending the open house, as well as other ideas of how it would turn out. Early in the day I realized it wasn’t going to be all that I had hoped for. Now, I’m not entirely selfish here, I wanted this for all the wonderful ladies (and their supportive partners) that put in their time and energy too and of course for Charles, who worked tirelessly in many many ways. No matter how I kept telling myself to let it be, and no matter how many of my friends said it was okay, I was worried – it wasn’t turning out the way I thought it should. Actually it turned out better. It has taken me a few days to appreciate just how much better.
Simply put we did not have a large turnout. We did however, have support from the people that did come. And more importantly we had really nice people here. The people that came were interested in what was going on, they made purchases, that was good of course, but it was more. They understood the entire celebration of creativity and freedom of expression through art and craft as well as my desire to give back to the community. No, it wasn’t some big fancy high-end art show.
With the exception of Linda, Susan and Pam who are accustomed to selling their work, this special group of ladies were new to this. I invited other experienced artist to join in and sell too, they did not come. I did not have their support and was quite frankly shot down several times by those that told me I was an idiot, that I was only taking sales away from myself by having other artists here. Well call me an idiot but I will take this group of people who did come any day. Trust me, I’ve done a lot of shows, and rarely do you have the camaraderie and willingness to share thoughts and ideas in such a positive, supportive manner, or the willingness to jump right in and lend a hand when needed. It truly was a very rare and special time.
There was something in the air, I think it is called harmony. Several people told me that there were good vibes here. When you hear that not just once or twice but many times you know you are very lucky. It isn’t something you can easily capture in a photo or express with words. All the control in the world can’t make it happen.
We had interesting items from Linda & Susan, Karen, Wendy, Pam, Jackie and Justine. These are not the best photos, I kept thinking I was going to get around to taking good photos of all that was here, but it didn’t happen.
It was actually one of the longest days, that went by so quickly, I remember bits and pieces here and there. I talked with so many people and was pulled in so many directions. I wanted to take lots and lots of photos, everyone knows how I like to live through the lens, but somehow that just didn’t happen either. So if you have photos that you can share with me, please do. (Thank you, Millie)
It has been such a whirlwind for weeks, and when things came to an end on the weekend I couldn’t slow down and think about all that had taken place. I had to move on to the next thing – which is very personal.
My father had surgery first of this week and my mother is in declining health, and requires around the clock assistance. I needed to be away from my home in order to help them out. I was already exhausted from all the work that had been done for the open house. To further complicate things, I needed to come back home twice a day, so that I could medicate and feed special food to Clyde and Betty, my ill children. Here again, I learned about letting go of control and accepting help from others. Before this weekend, I would have just tried to do it all, because I have more free time than my sisters. My sisters and I were an awesome team and we worked together to make things right for our parents. My dad is out of ICU, and expected to make a full recovery. My sisters and I all need to continue to offer our assistance for some time, but it will be okay.
I was in fear that I needed to make some very difficult decisions about Clyde and Betty immediately. Neither of them would eat while I was away and Clyde was having a great deal of difficulty walking. Since I am back home today, they both seem to be doing better. I believe that all the activities building up to the open house and then the change in my schedule was pretty hard on them. I now have Clyde on pain meds full time and he is smiling at me again. Maybe it is just the meds. Betty is sleeping in my lap as I type this. I pray for the courage to know when to make the right decision on their behalf.
At the open house, I had the opportunity to meet for the first time, Amy Silverman. Amy is a gentle person that is battling cancer with such grace and dignity. She has also put together a wonderful organization to help others fighting cancer. Bridging the gap foundation.
And finally, a renewed friendship with Karen and LaDonna gave me the courage to go where I didn’t think I could go, and survive. Karen’s spirit and jump in head first attitude are inspirational. LaDonna, cancer survivor extraordinaire, the person that I was honoring this weekend, the person that represents hope for all. So much to say, I don’t even know where to begin. I have the great honor of being able to present a check to Marianne’s Room at Martha Jefferson Hospital, on behalf of all the wonderful people that showed their support. Thank you everyone!
It is my hope to do this again in the late fall. I hope that you will all join me and these wonderful ladies at that time.
I don’t recall Karen’s exact words, but she said that I had gone through an awful lot in the last few weeks, referring to me stepping out of my comfort zone , and learning to accept help from others and a whole set of other issues, and she is so right. My instincts are to step right back into that box and not come out for a long time. I’m struggling with where to go from here, perhaps I just need to let it be what it will be. I know that with these wonderful ladies and my new friends flying by my side, it will be okay.
Until next time,
Kim – PS I hope that you will enjoy the photos below as much as I do!