Have you ever had one of those times when both happy news and sad arrive at your door in a whole slew of rapid events? It kind of makes your head spin a little.
The past few weeks have been a career roller-coaster for me in just that way. Every day seemed to bring another surprise. Some good; some bad – but each one transformative in some important way.
My first surprise was learning Leonardo Galleries, my gallery in the prestigious Yorkville area of Toronto, decided to close their doors. Zoya Balija, the owner has represented me in Toronto since 2008 when I won a national painting competition.
I’d been hoping to have an exhibit with her soon. But high rents and lagging art sales made it just too tough for her to continue as a contemporary art gallery.
Leonardo Galleries was always good to me and 100% professional to work with. Fortunately, Zoya also has a thriving side business as a fine-art appraiser and restorer. She’ll continue to do well and I wish her the very best.
As for me, as one door literally closes, hopefully another will open.
With most of the galleries who’ve represented me going out of business during the past several years, I definitely sense the passing of an era.
When the writing on the wall became obvious several years ago, I was quite disillusioned. I’d spent 15 years building up my professional resume and carefully nurturing my international relationships.
This photo is from one of my past exhibits in Dallas, Texas. They closed down a year later.
But as an artist colleague of mine pointed out, “Suddenly I have a clean slate”. For the first time ever in my career, I have no upcoming shows. No pressure, no deadlines and no requirement to color within the line. After so many years, it’s an odd sensation.
For the first time ever, I can spend time in the studio every day goofing around to see what comes out. I’m excited to be exploring new territory, free of constrictions. And THAT, my friends, is when the magic happens.
So this bad thing may be a good thing in the long run.
Next came positive news from Oklahoma about a friend and colleague who had a brain aneurism two weeks ago. Pat, my web designer of eight years and I were in the middle of updating my website when it happened. Thankfully, she’s making a steady recovery without any apparent cognitive damage.
Naturally, everything is on hold with my website until she feels up to working again. Thanks for understanding if you notice things don’t look quite right.
The next day, as I was thinking how blessed I feel to have perfect health, the phone rang. Sadly, I heard that my dear friend, a lovely lady and talented artist had died of cancer that morning.
Sue’s creative spirit touched many people during her 71 years. I think of her with great fondness, while I paint. Her memory lives on to inspire me and others.
‘Horizon’ ID # P-0908
original © Shirley Williams
acrylic on paper, mounted on wood
float-framed 9 x 9 inches $ 125.
Next, out of the blue, another door literally opened. I got a call from a galley in San Francisco. A mutual friend in Windsor had recommended my work to them.
The Director happened to be visiting Windsor and came for a studio visit. We hit it off right away and fortunately, she also really liked my artwork. I’m happy to report that Eunoia Modern is now representing me in the San Francisco area and beyond. I’ll keep you posted on how it develops.
There were several other peaks and valleys throughout the past few weeks, too numerous to mention. But the one thing that always keeps me balanced is my creative work in the studio. When I’m fully absorbed in the process of painting, all stress disappears.
I’ll sign off by sharing one other GREAT thing that happened last week.
The October issue of Windsor Life Magazine ran this wonderful feature article about my art and career. It’s always a bonus to be given free press and I’m very grateful to the team at Windsor Life.
Thank you to everyone who’ve let me know they enjoyed reading it.
Read it here now 2015-08-Windsor-Life
Keep your creative passion alive !