Thursday, October 5, 2006

The Rest of the Story

Evening Light on White Barn, 2004, Oil on Panel, 6x6

(This is an image of some barns I saw that day and is one of the first pieces I did where the color really had that zing, more noticeable in real life of course.)

So you know that feeling when you see an email come in with a familiar name, maybe an old friend or lover, or in my case, a gallery that you'd really like to work with? That's the feeling I had when I saw an email from Carrie Haddad Gallery about two weeks after my visit to Hudson. It was a delicious feeling of surprise and delight and curiosity, mixed in with a bit of apprehension and I reveled in all of that for a few minutes before I opened it. The email was directly from Carrie and she thanked me for sending in my information and went on to ask if I could bring in some of my work so that she could view them in person. Could I? COULD I? Hello, I was ready to drive down that minute. But she asked that I call her to set up a day, so I managed to contain myself. We set up a time for the following week and I got busy putting a group of pieces together. During this torturous waiting period, Doug and I had endless conversations about which paintings I should take and in what order I should display them. We really took this seriously!

Doug and I drove down to the meeting together. He helped me carry the pieces in and then went off to get coffee while I talked to Carrie. After all of the discussions Doug and I had had about presentation, I ended up having to lean everything against the wall randomly (which I have since learned is typical) and we stood and talked a bit about the paintings. She was very enthusiastic about the work and raved about my use of color. I had given myself a stern talking to earlier about not babbling and I managed to keep myself fairly quiet, so she may have thought I was very mysterious. ha. And when she went over to her desk, looked at her schedule and asked me I could do a show the following July, I was actually speechless. Well, for a few minutes anyway, until I readily agreed to everything she said about having an upcoming show. Then I loaded up the car and went to look for Doug. The whole thing took about 10 minutes.

I didn't have too much else going on that fall, just a few local holiday group shows at the local arts organizations. I kept painting everyday and as I said yesterday, I finally hit upon the color combinations that, I thought, really helped my work leap forward. Buoyed by my upcoming shot at success, heh, I started to send my info out, trying to line up more opportunities. In February or so, Carrie called me and said that she had had to rearrange the schedule a bit due to the illness of another artist. I was worried that I was getting dropped, but she simply wanted to swap shows, putting us (it was to be a three person show) in April instead of July. Phew.

The show was excellent. There was a really good crowd and it was the first opening where I felt relatively comfortable talking to everyone. Several pieces had already sold by the time the opening began and a few more sold that evening. I think about 14 paintings sold by the end of the show and I was pretty much over the moon about that. A local magazine reviewed the show and I received a good mention there and another arts paper featured one of my paintings on the cover. Also, right around the same time I was contacted by other galleries with offers of representation or invitations to participate in exhibitions. All of a sudden I was very busy and hectic and it's been pretty much that way since then.

Carrie eventually added me to their website and then scheduled me for another show this year, which is coming up rapidly. She has been a dream to work with and I feel very grateful to her as she really took a chance on me. I am also very pleased that she maybe doesn't remember my idiotic first contact as she seems to think I mailed in my info. I didn't remind her of my first visit, preferring to let her think I was actually professional, though my secret may be out now.

So that beautiful September day with the great light was a really good day, one I still think of often, marveling at the effect that that one day had on me, my work and this cool thing I have going on.


meno said...

Wow, what a year you've had. It's not hard for me to believe that you have been successful, but there's also a lovely bit of luck involved.

Tracy said...

Thanks Meno, a lot of good luck I'd say, which I am thankful for.

Lesly said...

Lovely story Tracy. You are so unassuming about your art and your hard work.

and you write pretty good too!!

Tracy said...

Thanks Lesly.

ThomP said...

OOoooo pretty. You have some seriously cool abstract work here. Keep the theme going it's great!

amusing said...

I wish I had your gift with color. Congratulations on the fabulous success -- the show sounds like a smash!

Sigh. Am so jealous of where you live. If I could move, right there is high on the list of where i might move....

Tracy said...

Thanks ThomP, for the compliment. I struggle to be more abstract but my inner realistic and literal self usually wins.

Thanks Amusing, The grass is always greener. I thought living here would be perfect and it is in some ways but there are a few things about it that I feel pretty sure I can't handle forever.

amusing said...

okay -- well, dish and spill the downside so I don't stash moving to the Hudson valley as a dream for once the kids grow up and then realize it was a bad mistake!