Sunday, November 17, 2013

Nicolaysen Art Museum Opening

Nov. 8th was the opening of my "retrospective" show at the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper, WY; my hometown!  The two other shows in the museum also featured WY artists, and the museum was packed.  I was told they had 350 people in attendance!

When my husband and I arrived in Casper, the first place we stopped was The Nic!  The show had already been up a month, and although I was assured by my mother and mother in law, that it looked great, I wanted to make sure that every painting was looking as it should.  (In particular, I had just liquined the background of "Dia de los Muertos", before loading it onto a large truck to travel to the west coast, the northwest coast, and then down to WY. I wasn't 100% sure if the painting had fared well on the trip.)  All was well when we arrived, so we started taking photos.

The next day, I gave a lecture and demonstration at Casper College, (where I went to school to learn to draw), and I think it went really well!  The school is still pretty small, but the turnout was good.  I had asked the painting and drawing instructor; Justin Hayward, if I could speak to his students, because I thought I could teach them something. Especially about my experience with galleries, and "thinking out of the box", throughout my career.  Of course he was delighted, and asked if I would also demonstrate, so I did.  (Above is the painting I demonstrated on, another Harmony, of course.)Justin is a great painter, and the students really seem to like him.  I told them they were lucky to be at Casper College where they were actually learning to draw and paint, just as I had, from such an excellent painter!
Friday night was the opening, and once we arrived, it was a blurr of activity.  The museum was already crowded, and the curator: Eric Wimmer, did an excellent job of hanging all three shows!  Eric is another wonderful addition to Casper, WY, and the art community!  He is himself an accomplished artist, working in many different media. His paintings are incredible, and I am really drawn to his photographs, as they are truly something special!  His excitement for everything he does, and for the community is really a pleasure to witness!  He grew up in New Mexico, and is responsible for encouraging me to finish my "Dia de los Muertos" painting, when I was struggling with it.  One of my favorite things I heard on this trip was when Eric was watching me paint, he said; "It's interesting the way you paint, starting with the figure....(and not the background), you can tell you were not academically trained."  I loved this, because it is so true, having mostly taught myself to paint, and going from watercolor to seems I paint backwards....but it somehow works for me.

The whole trip could not have been more enjoyable!  To go back to my hometown, and see so many friends and relatives who have supported me throughout my life and career, as well as to meet so many new people and young artists, is something I will always treasure!  Of course I wish my father could have been there, but I know he was in spirit.  I was so happy my mother, and mother in law were there, but in our flurry of activity, we forgot to take a photo of my mom and me together....