Sometimes the path to the future looks more like going backwards than staying on the straight path forward. Living in Saint George I felt as though I had lost my touch. My work was shifting and in that town wasn't selling. I was joining galleries and becoming a member of guilds and committees. What I didn't realize was I was being groomed to go to the next level.
As an artist I have always been a non-joiner. I just don't like being told what to do and have always seen art as fickle so being juried and judged seemed silly. Everything is based on personal taste. It seemed like a show. In Saint George, in order to find community I was thrust into the environment I had always resisted.
I learned so much being involved in what I avoided. In fact moving to Saint George had always been what I was avoiding. I had told myself my entire life I would never move back. I didn't have good memories of the town and didn't want whatever life lessons it wanted me to learn. Choosing to do what I wouldn't normally choose was such a perfect move. It was the missing piece. I was taught to slow down. I was taught humility. I was taught how to work with a team. I learned how to be a part of something larger than myself and that I didn't have to carry it alone. I also learned that I didn't need to throw the whole community on my back just to make myself valuable and sell my work. In fact, my co-dependent nature was called out and I realized that I took on more than I needed in most of my dealings in life.
The most interesting experience was the lesson of stillness. After building momentum for a year I broke my ankle. It was almost a year to the day of losing my mom. It landed me on my back for a solid month not able to do anything or go anywhere. But that stillness after creating so much energy in movement had become a vacuum. My life went from pushing to being pulled. I had opportunities literally come to my door. I started to sell art again and in the end, I was actively pursued to take a job as gallery director in Park City Utah. Park City is a town known for its world class skiing, lodging, and art culture.
Everything I had learned about being a team player, slowing down, and dealing with galleries was what I needed to top off my experience. It offered me an edge and gave me a chance to stretch my wings as a business woman. How does that help my art? Well, actually, I think my art helped me. This is a great place to find community and friendship. I fit in. I feel like I belong here. I also find that as I apply my knowledge from over the years, I know more than even I gave myself credit for. It's like seeing myself for the first time. I don't know where this will lead but I do know it's like everything and nothing I have done before. I can't guess what is coming but I have the tools to navigate it fiercely. I believe the impact on my art and psyche will be powerful and am fully engaged in this process. I intend to keep painting. I may not produce as much, but I'm learning so much.
I think it will be better and I am dreaming of the day I own my own successful art gallery. I hope you find inspiration in this. Whether you are an artist or an art fan. Just know, you don't know, what you don't know. And that is the direction you should definitely go. Choose what you avoid. The lessons are the missing piece.