I showed my Autumn series of 9 paintings and several art journal pieces, at the North Sydney Community Center, yesterday. It went very well and I am grateful for all the support that I got from friends. I had 11 sales of both paintings and art journal pieces. Quite a few visitors showed up. One of them was Vidya, my classmate from kindergarten, who was in Sydney on work. I told people that she had come all the way from California to my show!
We were at the gallery space the evening before, for set up. The staff at the center were very helpful – they gave me big sturdy easels to prop my four larger works. The five smaller paintings were held up by a hook system. There was a trestle table for the unframed art journal pieces and mixed media prose-poetry manuscripts. I had informed the gallery that I was expecting some elderly guests, so they even provided comfortable chairs for them.
I wore the cowl neck kaftan top that I had stitched from upholstery fabric, for set up. But the exhibition day just didn’t go as planned. I had had just five hours of sleep. It was really cold in the morning and I had a quick dunk-your-head-in-the-bathtub kind of shower. By 7, we were running late – the show was scheduled to open at 8 and we were yet to have breakfast. I grabbed the red maxi dress that I had made, and heels, and shoved them into my backpack, thinking I would go to the gallery and change. Then I whipped out the first thing that I found in my chest of drawers and pulled on a pair of jeans and my good luck charm – a necklace of wooden beads that a friend had made. Sam and I left first, running with our backpacks, my dripping wet hair flying in the wind. By the time we had caught the train and taken the bus, my thatch had air dried into big curly question marks. No comb, so I finger styled it en route to the gallery.
People were already there at 8 in the morning! My 90 year old friend Betty, who paints with me twice a week during her dialysis session at the hospital, thought that my grunge look and bed head hair was perfectly arty and she told me not to change. So the maxi dress and painful shoes stayed in the backpack. All my friends came dressed to the nines though! They teased me at the end of show, asking me to slip into socialite gear and click a few pictures so that the poor dress and heels didn’t feel so bad after all. I was too tired though.
It was a wonderful day, with friends and family and lots of visitors who appreciated the paintings. Many thanks to all my pals, online and off, who supported me so much with their good wishes and messages of love in the past few weeks. Sam, my ten year old ‘agent’, was most efficient in manning the art journal display and engaging the guests. Cheers to the rest of Team Prahlad too – Dada, Immi, Aids, and Ampallama (who made all my fantastic flyers, posters and promotional material and who helped me, even though so far away.) Feeling grateful and loved.