To Barcelona and Back...

How do I even begin to write about this extraordinary experience? 
I should start at the beginning...

In February I wrote a list of 5 goals to be accomplished in 5 years.
The list was titled "2015 - 2020 Goals". This is that list, pay close attention to numbers two and three:

1. Advertise my own workshops through the National Oil and Acrylic Painter's Society and Oil Painters of America

2. Jury into the ARC Salon (Art Renewal Center's most prestigious competition) 

3. Get a piece collected into a museum or equivalent private collection 

4. Achieve "Signature" Status with in the National Oil and Acrylic Painter's Society

5. Have my work recognized by the Portrait Society of America

If you know me, you know the story of how I was a career freelance illustrator for children's publishing and how, since kids have iPods and iPads and not crayons and workbooks anymore, I was, not so gently, forced to rethink the course of my life. I had been the breadwinner in our family for more than a decade. I spent well over a year floundering, dreading the idea of learning how to create apps and animation. I had tried them and they seemed to me more like computer programing than art. 

I researched going back to school to become a fine artist but there were no reasonable choices for me here in the Midwest. I was the mother of two pre teens, going back to school for a 4-year degree was not an option. I researched fine art ateliers and found the Art Renewal Center and their amazing map that shows ARC approved ateliers all over the country. There is where I found an ad for the Scottsdale Artist's School and the rest is...the rest is in my earlier blogs.

So now we're back to present day and I'm reflecting on 2015, and the list of goals that is now completely checked off. It was a phenomenal year possible because of the torrential downpour of love and encouragement I've received from mentors, artists and dear, dear friends who were daring me to even mention becoming a dental hygienist again or else I'd get a good smack! Yes, I was that confused and unconfident. As all artists do, I continue to have my moments of terror when faced with a blank canvas. But from now on, I'll look back on this year and dare myself to feel less than worthy and dare myself to look back on 2015...and try like hell to top it. 

Numbers 2 and 3, jurying into the ARC Salon at the Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona (MEAM) and having my work added to a permanent collection of museum quality, these were the pinnacle in achievement and I truly believed would take me at least 5 to 10 years to achieve.  I hope you guys know how humbled I am to be recognized in this way and enjoy the following photo blog of this tremendous adventure. 

Madrid, Barcelona and Paris! A Photo Blog:

And now to the "Thank You" list:

Thank you Adam, Seth and Grace Garrett for being as excited about these adventures as I am.

Thank you Laura Aubé for not letting me become a dental hygienist. 

Thank you Robin Blakely for helping me understand myself, my goals and my own personal power in making them come true.

Thank you Jackie W., without your beautiful collection of vintage clothing, these paintings would not exist.

Thank you to the awesome facebook community who is there cheering me on with every piece of work and every milestone and inspiring me with their own masterful art and creative wisdom. 

Thank you Randy and MaryAnn, Kathy H., Susan C., Judy S., Brad and Sandy C., Dennis Y., Rachel E., Ben and Roxanne M., Amrit S. Bret D., Wes M. and all my collectors for buying into me and my work from the first brush stroke. Yours is the truest compliment an artist can receive.

Lastly, thank you to the Ross family and everyone at the Art Renewal Center for your philanthropy and your passion for representational art, artists and lovers of fine art. The gifts you continue to give to the fine art community and each artist you encourage are paid forward exponentially. ARC is truly a legacy for the world.