Monday, May 25, 2009

Magic in the Rainy Day Art Festival

I just returned from a 3 1/2 day art festival in downtown Denver. It stormed off and on the first 2 days and then rained most of today. It rarely rains so steadily in Colorado. Anybody who shows their work at art festivals knows it is not fun when it rains! Zip up, zip down! Scurry quickly to bring the print bins in and cover up the art. While the weather was dreary there was no shortage of lovely little girls who were delighted to spend time in the booth. "Horses!" they would squeal. Many were pulled away by their arms by their moms, while the said "Please mommy, please! I want to go in there." "NO you can't was the typical response" or the "We don't have the money...."

I was one of those little girls once and I was able to give away a few of my new notecards to a few who were not pulled away too quickly. I was sorry I could not have given away more. I could see the longing on their faces and hear it in their voices. There is something about the heart of a horse that is good for the heart of a little girl.

Today something pretty amazing happened. At least I think so! I was busy chatting with a local artist (not from the art fair) who was in the process of buying my new book Horse as Teacher. It turned out we had a lot in common but better yet it was somebody a friend of mine, several months ago had told me I should meet. Small world! My friend and I stopped by her gallery but she was not there at the time. While we were busy yakking when I heard a voice say "I just bought that book...." Of course I stopped in my tracks to address the voice. Curiosity had me in its grips as the book only shipped 1 1/2 weeks ago. Better yet, it turned out she had just read my chapter that very morning! I returned to the woman buying the book and she slipped quietly out of the booth. I had wanted to talk to her more but it is difficult to be attentive to two people at the same time.

Well... she returned several hours later and purchased one of my small prints. It is one of 3 horses running across the prairie. She told me that it is her intention to have 3 horses one day and she wants to be a student of one of the other authors. She was going to set her intention by looking at my print every day. Geeez! Small world strikes again! I just love the whole process of connecting with people that this book and horses are creating. At the end of this rainy day I had less than $100 in sales but my heart was touched by the young girls who tried to visit with my horses and also the good fortune of meeting these two women.

Here is another magical thing that happened.....on Fri. eve. a neighboring artist stopped by the booth for a hello and a chat. She looked at me very seriously and said "I smell horses". I quickly looked at the bottom of my paddock boots but they were squeaky clean! She thought I had somehow planted the aroma! We heard the same thing for the rest of the event. I thought that was pretty special that the power of my horses could somehow trigger their scent! I swear this is no lie!

Later that day, as we were dismantling the booth and wrapping the art it looked about to rain yet again when an angel called Jack, in the body of a homeless man appeared and asked if we needed a hand. Three hours later as we finished packing the van it was just starting to pour. I was as grateful for his help as much as he was for the opportunity to work for a few hours.

There were times today when the thought crossed my mind that art festivals are too much work for the unpredictable financial gain when mother nature doesn't seem to be on your side - especially during this economy. A month ago it was dust storms that covered my work with a gritty film. Ugh! My thoughts however had changed and as we headed toward home I was feeling enriched inside for the new connections I had made today and also the small difference we had made in the life of a homeless man and a few little girls. I wouldn't have it any other way and I am immensely grateful for today.

Yours in the dance,


Sketched on a Canvas said...

I'm glad the festival was a big hit! I would have been one to run up to the horse and stay for hours. I have yet to own my own horse and am desperately looking for places to ride over the summer. They are such magnificent creatures. I so wish I could have come to the festival. I live in Texas and I've fallen ill so there was no way I could come, but I'm hoping to be a professional(or a really, really good) artist one day and would have loved to come for inspiration and advice. Congratulations again!

susan Williams said...

Feel better! Texas would have been a bit of a hike wouldn't it? Maybe I will get down to Texas next year at a show closer to you! Just stay close to the horse for they are surely the best inspiration!