A Letter for Reflection

February 15, 2017, 1:07am

 Photo by Raytevia Evans  The painting "Supernatural" has been sold.

Photo by Raytevia Evans

The painting "Supernatural" has been sold.

My first professional solo artist exhibition was on Saturday, February 11, 2017. Prior to that day, I spent countless hours planning, painting, and debating with myself about which paintings needed to be in the show.  When the day finally came to install my work, I started to measure, analyze, and even second guess my choices.  I kept asking myself if CHROMA was going to be a good show.  If a professional art critic showed up, I didn't think I would meet their expectations, let alone be able to handle the pressure.

I didn't expect there to be as many people at the opening as there was.  I didn't expect all of the hand shaking and smiling I ended up having to do while I was interacting with guests.  I didn't expect all the noise, the mini Q&A sessions, the smorgasbord of snacks my mom bought to be gone by the time the opening was over.  I didn't expect all of the positive feedback on my work and the positive critiques (mostly because I'm so hard on myself that I get anxious if someone looks at my work for too long).  It turned out so much better than I expected.

Maybe I should just stop overthinking things because most of the time, when I do overthink, I realize later on that all the worry was unnecessary.  The day went perfectly.  I couldn't have asked for more.

With all this, there are so many people to thank for the success of the day:

To everyone that attended the opening (family, friends, art collectors, etc.), thank you so much for coming.  If you weren't there in person, but have been supporting me in my endeavors in spirit, thank you.  If you're one of the two people that bought a painting from me, thank you for your financial blessings.  To Nathan, who did the lighting for "my wall", you are fantastic and I send you all the virtual hugs I can possibly muster; to John and Matt for the wisdom and courage you've both given me to persist and to continue finding my place in the Art World; to Ray, who gave me so much encouragement throughout this entire process and throughout my entire internship at Schlesinger so far; to Stephen, who probably doesn't even realize how much he's helped me, for letting me work and allowing me to give my time and experience to the Schlesinger, even for just a moment; and to Mary who gave me a chance to prove myself and a chance to stake my claim and expand my knowledge in a small plot of this world… 

Thank you all so much.

This has been one of the best experiences of my life.  I hope to be able to do more things like this in the future.

To future me, you are braver and more persistent than you think you are, girluh.  You have never set any goal that you have not completed.  Now you can check one more goal off your list.  There are so many more things you have been dreaming of that you still need to reach, so keep hustling as hard as you can to get there.  Remember what Great Grandma Juanita taught you; that life should be worth living, worth your time, your effort, and your persistence.  Not only are other people going to see you stake your claim in the world, but you have to be the one to make sure that your claim corresponds to your dream and your purpose.

The stars are aligned in your favor.

Feet, don't fail us now.

Lonnie Pauls