I can't believe it's over. This has been one of the longest and shortest and most exhausting and energizing months I can remember. There were lots of very early mornings, many late nights, and more paintbrushes in wine glasses than I care to admit. I've learned a lot and hopefully found a way to successfully connect and help others.
One of my favorite (and completely unexpected) surprises this month was learning about all of you. You became an inspiration. I received many heartfelt messages and emails with your stories. Tales about your dogs (and a cat or two) many with tragic, unfathomable beginnings and their remarkable recoveries. To those who have inquired about commissions, I am excited to work with you and love the idea of being a part of commemorating your pet's incredible impact and importance in your lives.
You inspired me and you enlightened me. Sadly we live in a volatile and violent society. Nightly news reports are scary and depressing (especially around here.) My disappointment and disgust with the human race is unfortunately confirmed daily in a multitude of ways. But this month I felt a flicker of hope. Maybe I was delirious from 4 hours of sleep a night but reading your thoughtful posts, comments, and emails has helped restore some of my flagging faith in our society. Busy people who are working tirelessly to improve the lives of abandoned and abused souls gives me hope. People who struggle to pay their monthly bills and somehow find a few extra dollars to donate to causes dear to them, you inspire me. You push me. Force me to ask and consider what else I can do. If I've decided this is my shelter, how can else I contribute? More on that later.
I was terrified to begin this journey even privately. Deciding to share my potential fails publicly makes me nauseous. Even in case the paintings weren't embarrassing, we live in a world faced with an epidemic of over-sharing and I don't want to be a contributor to the self-indulgent, narcissistic culture which has become so common place.
Once I decided to face my anxiety (gulp) the next hurtle was the "painting a day" goal. Simply put, it goes against my nature. I blame my ADD. I like to bounce from one project to another and another and another. I've learned I' m most productive when working on several pieces at a time and that time often spans weeks and months. I wasn't sure how I felt about committing publicly to share work I knew was likely going to be unfinished. I'm still not comfortable with the 24 hour deadline. But I did it and I appreciate the encouraging words along the way. I probably would have missed a day or two if I didn't know you were following along. And I hope you will continue to follow along during my artistic journey. Please sign up for my newsletter and blog, 'Like' my Facebook page, and share with anyone you think might be interested.
I'm still receiving inquiries about available paintings (CLICK HERE if you're interested) so I will probably wait a few more days to total up the donations. I'll post a detailed recap in my February newsletter, so if you haven't already, be sure to sign up to receive updates. I'm also brainstorming other ways to fundraise for THS and a few additional charities I support so forthcoming information will be shared via the newsletter, blog, and FB page.
I'm mailing out another set of paintings today, so if you're waiting (and your painting was from the first half of the month) keep an eye out...