I won’t deny that selling my artwork is rewarding, but the real value I get from having my art out there is knowing that it is appreciated and that I have enhanced people’s lives in some way. In the past two weeks, thanks to unsolicited and unexpected feedback, I have been amply reminded of just how much satisfaction and joy this gives me. Art really is that magical gift that keeps on giving.
It began with a recent trip to my gynecologist’s office. As my doctor breezed into the exam room to perform my annual checkup she told me that she thought of me every day. This sparked a dreaded moment of anxiety – was she referring to some ominous test results I was unaware of?
I need not have worried. She was referring to a hand made ceramic mug I gave her a year ago when I learned that she had completed her yoga instructor’s course. I had totally forgotten about that mug, aptly decorated with an image of a cross-legged woman meditating. It turns out that she drinks her morning joe out of that cup every day.
A few days later I received an email from a woman in Australia who identified herself as the person who had purchased my small, award-winning portrait Le Parisien about five years ago.
She took the time to write the following words and, bless her, it made my week:
Dear Lilianne, Just wanted to touch base and let you know I purchased a tiny painting of yours from the Mortimore Prize in 2010. For such a tiny painting it fills the room. It was a Christmas present to my husband after he expressed it was his favourite painting in the show, it was also a stand out to me, we love it! Just wanted to let you know it came to a good home.
And then, to top it off, I received another email from another total stranger who had come across my contributing artwork in the Women of the Book project currently on exhibit at the Jerusalem Biennale.
This gentleman really understood what I was trying to capture with my visual expression of the Torah portion Ki Tavo. He wrote:
Dear Lilianne, It looked like simplicity was a prime virtue of the work until I looked more closely and realized the skill and complexity. It really does convey the sense of a deeply willing offering. What excellent work! Would you mind if I used it as a screensaver, reminding myself to be in that place of acceptance and offering?
It’s been a gratifying couple of weeks in the life of this artist – I have also been commissioned to paint a series of portraits for the AARP and just found out that Dreamtime, the work I featured in my last blog, received an award at the opening in NY.