I finally saw myself where I had aimed to be some years ago. As a life coach, I employ one. This transformative work helped me recognize how much my artist suffered at the hands of my overindulged, fitness guru Self. On this day, my artist was in the driver’s seat. As I pulled up to the art gallery, I peered through the windows searching for signs of lights and life.
"Yes! They're open!" I celebrated my ‘artist outing’ about to take place. This is now my sixth juried art show in two years. I consider this a win in advancing my expression and my self-esteem.
It’s mid-afternoon as I park my car in the empty lot which was packed full at the show’s opening weeks ago. So, I heard, because I failed to show-up for myself that night. That was another opportunity on my calendar that came to pass without my participation. At the anticipated hour, I was too tired to collect myself and be social. I wedged my couch potato between the rest of the family also too tired from a full day’s work to leave the comforts of home and celebrate my art. So, better late than never, right?
My own wide smile welcomed me on the glass doors. Looking past my reflection, I saw my art work hanging directly opposite the entrance. I took my time signing the guest book and treasuring this private moment of arrival. A few more quiet moments passed before the docent made her presence known. I introduced myself and my situation.
"Hi. I'm D'Anna. I didn't make it to the show's opening but I'm here now. Wow. That's my piece Golden Bouquet.” She looked in the direction I indicated then turned back wearing her smile.
While she went to retrieve and don her mask, I leisurely took in the show. After a few audible notes of appreciation and fascination, Becky, the docent, walked over and joined me. She brought my eyes to give a lovely watercolor a closer look. It depicted a playful beach scene with children in the foreground building sand castles under the bright sunshine while close behind under the canopy of assorted umbrellas were undefined shadows.
"I love the colors, but what is this?" she questioned pointing to the shadows.
I could tell she really struggled with the ambiguity. I offered my explanation.
"Relaxing under the cover of the umbrellas are the parent's, maybe grand-parents, watchful of the children at play in the present. The cover of the umbrella provides not only protection and shelter but also symbolically casts shadows of childhood’s remembered in a cherished past.”
Did she get it? I hope Becky allowed her artist to fill-in the frame, complete the scene and assign meaning. It felt good to hear my artist speak so intuitively, confidently and poetically.
I spotted the gift shop; a nice way to donate to creativity. There were several large paintings which I knew my parents, art collectors, would love. The sticker price on these reprint gift cards were a closer fit to the size of my pocket book.
“Credit card?" Becky asked.
“Yes." I replied handing her my card.
While she proceeded to hand write my receipt, I walked around the exhibit a bit longer. There was one piece I had yet to appreciate of the listed Winning Works and Honorable Mentions. It was entitled Embrace the View. I simply could not find it.
I interrupted her to ask "Is there more of the show in another room?"
She kept her head down and said "No".
My frustration was met with hers.
“Technology, I get it.” I acknowledged her reading the step by step directions and politely offered my help after her several failed attempts with the credit card reader.
"Have you done this before?" She asked.
"Not really. Not as the merchant, but let's give it a try."
Within moments, the familiar sounds of the printer confirmed our team work's success.
"Would you like a paper bag?" she held one open waiting for my nod.
In the next moments while she carefully packed my purchase, I caught sight of my reflection in a lovely free-standing, full-length mirror immediately next to the counter. I adjusted my sweatshirts, pulled up my yoga pants and tucked a few curls behind my ears. I thought did you really leave the house looking like this?
Before I could critique myself any further, I startled the docent with my laughter. "Oh my gosh! This is the piece. This is the honorable mention I was hoping to find, Embrace the View. I imagined a landscape. Clever, I get it!”
The award-winning work included me. I embraced my artist. She is alive and well and smiling back at me. I know the rule, DO NOT TOUCH! Yet, without thinking I gave the beautifully polished wood frame a caress. We parted ways as her shift ended and my artist date was complete.
"I'll be back Becky." I assured her. Becky has a story, too. I learned some of hers and she some of mine. Our contemplation of art and kindness in the present moment made for new acquaintances and a meaningful afternoon.
Posted on the door, my symbolic sight read my aha: PUSH and PULL-gentle teamwork will open the doors of opportunity.
a poem by D’Anna V. Kromer
She awaits the stage
Pristine pointes firmly laced.
A mental picture in her gaze.
The foot of her dance, she waits.
Her patient elegance poised and ready.
Costume’s golden bouquet embraced.
Imagination colors her steady.
The dark backdrop, she waits.
Her heart knows the dream.
Hushed prayers and wishes made in haste.
Artists gather in His wings.
The Great Creator, she waits.