New Beginnings are Black and White

So here I go, RAW Artists – Natural Born Artists asked me to come back and be a part of their Premiere Show in downtown Los Angeles on March 18th. It’s a Wednesday. I will have to work at my finance job that day before the show, then drive to downtown Los Angeles around 2:30 to set everything up. The show will start around 7:00pm and I probably won’t get home until after midnight. Then I will have to be back at my finance job at 7:00 AM the next morning. I knew if I decided to do the show I would want to create all new art. I have been nonstop since I moved to Los Angeles in November, so when they first asked me I didn’t say yes right away. Is it too much for me?

The first time RAW Artists contacted me was in October when I was moving to Los Angeles. They found me on Instagram, and asked to talk to me. I thought maybe it was a marketing scam, as I get so many people reaching out to me asking to increase my followers if I give them so much money. But we had a conference call and they told me about their organization. They are all about helping up and coming artists to get their work out into the universe. They are legitimate! So I signed on to be a part of their holiday show on December 18th. I moved to Los Angeles November 1st, so I between moving, starting a new job and learning my way around the city, I had to prepare for the show and invite people. It was a lot! Did I want to do it again? I wasn’t sure.

But as I thought about it, ideas started to come into my mind. What is it that I want to say this time? Because for me my art shows are about art, yes, but they are also about my message. So, I decided to do a show about new beginnings. To me, new beginnings are black and white because you are not sure what lays ahead. They are fuzzy and not colorized and filled in with all the details. So, I decided to do black and white art with a portion of color, representing hope.

My life is completely different than it was even 4 months ago. Sometimes when I am driving down Highway 1 and I see the sun sparkling off the Pacific Ocean, the waves crashing and people walking their dogs and happily riding their bikes I just can’t believe that I live here. Sometimes during this moments I scream in my car, ‘I LIVE HERE!!” I just scream to myself, usually with the music at full volume because I still can’t believe that this is my reality. My logical brain is still comprehending where my physical body is. My brain is so used to being strained on a daily basis to come up with justifications of living a life that I was so unhappy in, that it is not sure what to do right now. It is slowly relaxing, it doesn’t have to work so hard anymore.

A lot of people told me that I was brave to make the move from Portland Oregon to Los Angeles California. Portland was my home for the last 20 years. I brought my daughter up there, I built a life there. So I understand why people questioned it and thought it was a big deal when I told them I was moving. But I never really thought of myself as brave. Because I never really saw it as a choice, I saw it as my life’s path.

I knew when I came to LA 5 years ago that my life would be here. And it wasn’t a big dramatic moment that came to me to let me know. It was a simple visit to a coffee shop waiting for my Americano and watching people walking in, getting their coffees, smiling and chatting. I have been the ‘observer’ my whole life. A part of me has always felt disconnected and outside. I am sure that comes from growing up in an abusive household where I had to disconnect and observe for my own safety. But standing in that coffee shop for the first time in my life I felt like I belonged. I felt connected to the smiling people in their bike shorts and work out clothes. Their eyes welcomed me, and seemed to understand me. I can’t explain it really, as it was a just a feeling that came over me. But in that moment I knew that my life would eventually be here. So, when an opportunity came up to transfer here with my finance job, there was no other option but to take it. It was time to go.

My first art show was less than a year ago, last July in Portland. So, to think that 6 months later that I have the luxury to ‘decide’ whether or not to be a part of an event just goes along with all the other unbelievable changes in my life. When I had my conference call and told them I would be able to participate on March 18th. They were excited! They asked me if I wanted my same spot I had last time, and they asked me what I needed. They wanted to accomodate me! The difference is, this time I allowed it. Instead of being overly thankful and giving, I let them take care of me. I am learning this. I am slowly learning that what I have to offer is valuable.

Yesterday I went to the art store and bought my canvasses, new paint brushes, black, white and pink paint. I did a sketch of what I want to create. I got really excited about my message and how I would display my paintings at the event. I like to plan out exactly where my art is positioned and why. I never really think of selling my art when I am planning, I just think about how to display it so people immediately get it when they come and see my part of the show. I want people to get an overall feeling. I want them to just ‘know’ what I am all about.

So, the next few weekends will be spent creating and planning for this show. I am excited about it! It will be completely different than my last show, as it should be, because I am completely different.

My message of the show is that you can start again. That even though it is scary, and the future is completely unknown, we all have that voice within us that does know. And if we have the courage to follow it, we will never be lost.