It was a long day.
Getting to the Gallery early and fine tuning some of the layout then writing up the catalogue in the correct order took some time. Before I knew it, it was 11am and the official gallery opening time. Actually at 10 minutes before 11 there was a knock at the door and my first two visitors were clamouring to get in. Ok not clamouring but they had driven 2 hours just to come so I was more than happy to let them in. With only one page of the catalogue complete, I printed it out and left them to wander while I finished the last page.
Did I really mean to have two number 18s they asked - nothing like having someone to test your work. A quick edit and reprint corrected the error. Page two dutifully delivered and checked in situ and we had liftoff. My lovely first visitors stayed for ages and wrote positive messages on my visitors list so I was feeling terrific.
They were quickly followed by another couple who commented that the catalogue text font was a bit small so next version with larger font was dutifully printed. I love continual improvement. This visit also resulted in my first red sticker so I was thrilled. Maybe having this exhibition was not the most stupid self indulgent thing I had ever done.
Six o'clock arrived eventually and the doors opened for the expected throngs and I wasn't disappointed. Old friends and new started arriving and soon the gallery was respectfully filled with a variety of people from all areas and times of my life. The conversations were full of compliments and positive feedback for my work. My uneasy decision to make art my full time career was being reinforced as the right thing to do which gives me great joy.
This is me - the one with glasses in the red top.
The wine flowed freely thanks to the wonderful Maggie
who seemed to avoid photos but I am very grateful for her kindness.
A steady stream of red stickers and a wonderful opening speech by Annette Gero gave me tangible proof that my life was changing in the right direction.
My gorgeous daughter Sarah and her boyfriend Matt were wonderful helpers with the food and wine.
Great friend Alex came all the way from the USA just to take these wonderful photos for me. She threw in a few weeks holiday as well but it was great to have her to share the experience.
Here is Nic who quilts my prize winning quilts - she recently won a prize (third year in a row) at the Birmingham Quilt Show in the UK for her quilting.
Finally - where would I be without my soulmate, best friend and love of my life, Peter.