Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Goodbyes on display

My work is officially on display at Giddens Gallery of Fine Art in Grapevine, TX.

I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to show and sell pieces of my collection.

But y'all...I'm also a little heartbroken.

Those canvases on the wall? They each contain a little bit of my heart.

In a way, I guess all of my artwork does. But these four...they're special.

Each piece has a story.

Technically, this one's title is "unnamed." But I lovingly refer to him as The Chief.

The Chief was inspired by a Native American Lit class I took at Pepperdine. We covered so many authors, and just as many subjects: longing, pride, sorrow, tradition, fear, and passion. The Chief is not one man. I referenced two photos of historical chiefs to develop my chief's face (one from the Crow Nation, one who was not identified). There is no underlying sketch. I started by painting the shadows, and let his features form around them.

When I look at The Chief, I feel everything: longing, pride, sorrow, tradition, fear, and passion.

I'm so happy he's on display, and so excited about the conversations he might start among gallery visitors. But I'm still sad to let him go.


He's been hanging in my room, and the spot where he used to live seems lonely now.

I painted him in Texas, but he once brightened my tiny Pepperdine apartment, too. I don't know why my attachment to this piece is so strong. It's a color-based abstract--something I can recreate.

But it won't be quite the same.

"What Is"

This one was a commission for dad.

It's been in his office for over two years now, and those words have become our family motto.

My mom, my dad, and I have all struggled with (intense) anxiety at different points in our lives. This is the catchphrase we use to re-center.

We can still speak it, of course. But I'll kind of miss looking at it on the wall.

Here's where "Flowers" used to sit.

It was a commission for mom, inspired by a small oil painting we found in a cafe.

Huge, textured, bright. It was the focal point of my parent's living room.

I'm okay with seeing this one go. My mom, on the other hand...

let's just say, I owe her another painting.

So why let them go? Why say goodbye to pieces from my personal collection? Why put a price tag on pieces of my heart?

(overly dramatic, but I'm "an artist"...which totally entitles me to occasional bouts of drama)

Here's the answer: because the Lord has so faithfully given me the very best, even when I am faithless. And, in good faith, I wanted to give back to Him in kind.

Here's the story: I wanted to show my work in a gallery. I had no idea how to go about doing so. Today, I loaded three canvases into my car. While driving through downtown Grapevine, I saw a sign in a window. "Giddens Gallery of Fine Art: Currently Interviewing Artists."

I interviewed. They accepted. I put my canvases on their wall. Their soft opening is tomorrow. My work will be up in time for Grapefest, which traditionally draws crowds of 250,000+.

It's the very best that I have to give. It's all that's left of my personal art collection.

An offering of thanks to a Father whose name is Grace and Love.

James 1:17 - "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

1 Chronicles 29:14 - "But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand."


Besides, sometimes, it's good to get rid of the old. I think it's time to create a few new pieces.

Isaiah 43:19 - "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."

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