I love art! I love the emotions involved with creating. I love the entire process from the experience of hiking outdoors- to the excitement of starting a new piece- and to a finished product. Art makes me happy. I also love exhibiting my work. I want viewers to have a connection to nature. I want the viewer to find the beauty that surrounds us and hopefully feel that peace associated with it.
I remember my first show. I was walking at the Illini Union on campus and I saw a flyer about exhibiting artwork. I was torn; exhibiting art was intimidating. I would be displaying my art for the community to see. I had been thinking about showing my work but what if the audience didn't like my style? What if they hated it and the staff on campus regretted the whole thing! I was afraid to show people that side of me. I was afraid the entire process would create self doubt and the happiness I find in the process of artmaking would disappear. I would have nothing...
The deadline to submit my proposal was a few days away. I simply couldn't decide; I couldn't sleep. My art is an important part of my life; what seemed as a simple decision was not.
The morning of the deadline, I decided to LEAP; knowing that my parachute may not open or I may have a rough landing. I invited my co-workers and many people I knew on campus to the opening reception. I have to admit I was nervous, scared, and excited all at the same time.
I had a good crowd at the reception. I really enjoyed the part where people would tell me about their favorite piece. I was surprised to hear their stories- a lady at the reception recognized the location of one of my paintings and told me of how her grandfather took her to that state park and shared his childhood stories with her. Another guest at the reception reminisced about his childhood and told me he too had a love of nature and art. A student stopped by the reception and shared her viewing experience. She told me that was just what she needed to get through finals week.