03 December 2011

so thankful

My painting is off to its new home with Sharon. ^_^

The past two days have been so rewarding. I am very thankful to Akio, Terry and Yukie for welcoming me to the Claymates show and sale. I met so many interesting people ~ many artists themselves ~ and got some very positive and heartfelt feedback about my work. This event was not only the first time for me to show my work in public, it was also the first time for me to represent and assist other artists as well. From the Bay Area, I invited Toni Rica, Chiori Tasaki and Sewasew to display their work. From Japan, five artists sent me their creations: Yuuco, Ikecoo, Kanae Nagashima, Shingo Akiyama and Ms. Pen Santaac.

On Thursday evening, Toni Rica met me at Akio's to help set up our art. Yukie and her husband Larry had gone out of their way to purchase a set of display grids that very morning and had them all set up for us when we arrived. (Thank you!)

Yukie's pottery in the foreground & our art on the panels.
Yuuco's flower bags, Chiori's oils, my acrylics & Kanae's postcards...

I should mention that it was my first time to meet Toni Rica in person; before then we'd only spoken on twitter, email and phone. It was a joy to meet her and to work together, as she is full of enthusiasm, warmth, positivity and talent! Together we placed all the artwork so that everything was ready for the show.

Sewasew's woven Ethiopian paintings below, Ms. Pen's book covers, postcards by Kanae and more...

On Friday morning, Chiori met me at Akio's studio to help for the day. We added her paintings to the display, added some finishing touches and watched as people began to arrive.  

One of Chiori's en plein air oils, made while her husband and son were fishing.

There was already quite a crowd when the doors opened at 10:00 am and all the artists were busy answering questions or helping to wrap purchases. It was an exceptional moment for me when I turned to find a woman gazing with great emotion at my larger acrylic work. Wow.

She explained that she could not purchase it (though she would have liked to) but we talked for a bit and I can only say that to have my painting create such a positive impact on someone else... well, just that was enough to make my day utterly fulfilling. As a painter, and especially at my very first show, her reaction was tremendously rewarding and more than I hoped for. While she thanked me for making that piece, I thanked her for appreciating it so highly. It was quite amazing to connect with a stranger through an artistic communication. (Of course, I saw her again when she returned the next day to show her husband the painting, and I'm sure I'll see her again since she's beginning ceramics classes ~ so she won't be a stranger in the future! ^_^)

Other artists' work were beginning to sell. Lots of Yukie's and Akio's pottery was chosen, Margie and Bobbi's glass jewelery table had a big crowd, and Terry's homemade chocolate truffles and jams were extremely popular.

Debbie chose Yuuco's flower bag and also bought my smaller acrylic. Thank you!

Not long after my sublime experience in front of my painting, I heard my name being called. Two sisters (Sharon and Debbie) were very interested in my acrylics! We talked about my process and thoughts behind the works. I signed the canvases to each of them and in a whirlwind of a morning, my paintings were sold! I nearly had to catch my breath, it had all happened so fast. I was glad that Chiori was there to celebrate with me and I really liked Sharon and Debbie and felt very comfortable to send my art home with them.

Thank you very much, Sharon and Debbie. 
I hope you enjoy the paintings for years to come 
and that they bring you much happiness in your homes.

After those paintings sold, I brought out the large gold painting I'd just finished. Even though it was already spoken for, I thought it would be nice to get feedback on the work. Indeed, I enjoyed some very nice talks with other artists about the work, its layers and techniques ~ conversations I wouldn't have had without taking my work out of my home and putting it in the public eye. It was very rewarding.

I was also quite happy to get exposure for the artists who sent their work from Japan. I wished they could also be there to talk about their creations.

Ikecoo's sculpture and pastel with Yuuco's cute cards.

Yuuco's bird of happiness cleverly mounted on stained balsa wood.

Kanae's triptych attracted a lot of attention for its detail and emotion. Rica sold several of her prints too!

On Saturday Toni Rica returned and spent the day helping at the sale. Three of her prints sold and it was really fun to hear the stories behind her drawings. She has a definite sense of humor! :D

I brought another work in to display, a large 4' x 6' painting that I completed a couple years ago. I made it when my husband's family came to visit us from Italy so they would feel even more welcome in our home.

Displaying this painting led to many more engaging conversations with visitors and artists. It was really fun to meet so many delightful and passionate people who appreciate handmade goods and arts. I am very grateful to everyone who came to Claymates. It was such a pleasure to meet you!

Special thanks to Chiori and Rica for their help, to the other artists for a wonderful two days ~ Bobbi White, Margie Dickerson, Adriane Dedic, Yukie Nakanishi ~ and to our hosts Akio and Terry Aochi. I learned a lot and am looking forward to the spring show in May at Yukie's garden and studio!

So much inspiration ~ thank you all!


Juriko Kosaka said...

Congraturation Kimi!
Your abstruct painting has something with deep feeling and that's so beautiful:)

kimi said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Juriko ~ I appreciate it! It was a very special weekend for me. :)

yuuco said...

Kimi, thank you do much! I'm so touched~. Thank you for your email & lovely photos too. I will reply you soon. I don't have enough words to say how much thank you! I'll show your email to the artists too. Your painting is lovely! I love your style. I'm looking forward to displaying and showing your beautiful paintings to many people here! :) Hontoni Arigato!!!<3

kimi said...

Yuuco! Chiori, Rica and I all had a wonderful experience and having all the art from Japan made it even better. Rica and I are working on the cafe' show next and then we'll all be sending art to you to show at the Make Merry Gallery! The trans-Pacific exchange was your idea, so thank you too! ^_^

SaylorMade said...

Wow, Kimi! Congratulations on this amazing achievement. I was moved by the bit about the lady admiring your work. It would have made me a bit teary to see my work make an impact on someone in that way.

I have always felt as though you are so happy and joyous. Your work comes though in this manner as well.

kimi said...

Hi Jeannine! Thank you for your kind comments. :) Yes, it's been a very interesting (and emotional!) experience sharing my work with others. I also had the commissioned work for my friend on display which has a completely different style. It was very interesting to see how one style resonated more strongly with some people while other people were drawn to the other piece. I think I learned a lot just from observing others' responses.

ejorpin said...

Wow what an amazing experience! I imagine it must be a bit like baring your soul, putting your artwork out there, having that immediate interaction with people and seeing their response. It sounds like it's been wonderful for you - congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for exhibiting!
This is the first time that it exhibited overseas.
Thank you for photographs and comments.

Kanae Nagashima

kimi said...

You are very welcome, Kanae! Rica and I will have a second show set up soon (in a cafe'). Will let you know and take pictures for you, too. Happy weekend!

Thuraya Lynn said...

What you described reminds me so much of my first mini group show. The word of encouragement from another fellow does touches you in a most unknown profound way. It sure seemed like a lovely experience, even through words and photos, I'm glad you made us a part of it. :)

I really really love your paintings and the other artist's share, everything looks so drrreamy. Beautiful. <3

kimi said...

You're always so good with words, Lynn. I'm glad you too have known that sparkling moment when someone understands your art! Perhaps you and I will also have a show together one day... :)