I am grateful beyond measure.
After last week's Beaux Arts Fair in Davenport, IA, with my truck full of my art, the show premises fading behind me as I drove towards home, a lump started to form in my throat. Shorty after, a few stray tears leaked from my eyes as I muttered, "Thank you, God. Thank you." I was grateful.
I could go on and on explaining all the reasons for my gratitude, but to save your eyes from reading strain, I will put it in list form. From there, I think you'll understand what I'm trying to say.
While a mother was walking her daughter past my art, a little girl pointed, smiled, and shouted, "Cool pictures, mommy!" That warmed my heart!
Another little girl came inside the tent to look at my horse paintings. She said her horse was brown and I only had gray horses on display. When I pulled a brown horse out of storage, she smiled so big! She took that painting home with her.
A repeat customer entered my tent in hopes of purchasing another animal original. She's the proud owner of the original "Rooster Stephen."
Some younger adults peered at my cow udder collection and stated, "When you want naked pictures in your house, but you want to be chic about it." That made me smile!
Moments after opening my tent, a woman was excited to make her first purchase ever at an art fair. She took home a framed print of the "For-the-Kids Owl." She was extremely happy to discover the proceeds of that painting go to Dance Marathon for the University of Iowa Children's Hospital in Iowa City.
One family came back after seeing my work last year, and requested that I paint a portrait of their family's farm. I love preserving memories for people.
A woman saw this horse from a distance and grabbed her husband's arm to have him look at it. She was in love. He handed me his credit card for a framed version of "Gray Horse Running."
A woman's heart nearly melted as she purchased a framed print of a King Charles Cavalier dog that looked "exactly like" hers.
A nice couple came inside and, within minutes, had to have a nicely framed print of "Winter Kisses." Those who know me know this is a very special one, as it includes my two favorite horses, Sophie and Aspen.
Oh, you'll like this one! One day, I had a wild idea to paint something abstract. It was tiny (because when I'm scared I take tiny steps towards being brave) and it reminded me of my favorite summertime mixed drink, a Cosmo. Wouldn't you know, a woman said it made her very happy to look at. The highest compliment an artist can get is to hear a painting brings about an emotion. She made this original hers.
I am grateful that while doing what I love to do, others can find happiness. It's very humbling. And after every show, I recall all the words said and all the feelings expressed from others. That's when the tears of gratitude fall. I never asked God to make this happen. I never envisioned this, planned this, or worked for it. It was a gift.
Thank you, God.
Thank you, friends.
Thank you, customers.
Thank you, encouragers.
Thank you, readers.
It's you who allow me to be who I am and do what I do.