I seem have become the go-to girl for last minute shows for art venues. I probably shouldn’t be admitting this, but it’s true. After years of inquiries, applications, rejections galore, and being put on waiting lists, I am suddenly having a run of luck. Or, I like to think it’s a run of good luck as a result of years of hard work and persistence.

Last winter I got bumped up from my scheduled February 2014 solo show at the Rancho Linda Vista Gallery to April, to over a year earlier than the original schedule (see this blog post for photos of the opening). This was due to a sudden cancellation by the artist who was actually scheduled to show during the April time slot. When asked to fill the slot I took a deep breathe and agreed to do it.

I had applied for a solo show at the Agua Caliente Ranch Park Gallery, in Tucson, way last Fall. While I hadn’t been accepted, I had been put on their wait-list but I promptly forgot all about it. Then just a few weeks ago, I got a call from the Gallery. They, also, had an artist cancel. So of course, I said I would be happy to fill the open slot. Now I have a solo show scheduled from August 17–September 11, yes, in 2013. Coming up soon real soon. And I’m hard at work painting to add new Water Reflections to this series.

Next, an artist cancelled at the last minute from a show scheduled to open next week at the Yuma Art Center. This artist was scheduled to fill the entire Art Center with his/her work. My great and good friend, the artist Pat Sahertian had been in contact with the Director of the Center regarding a show she’s setting up of her work in 2014. And when the recent cancellation occurred, the Director called Pat for leads to artists who might be able to fill the suddenly available galleries. Pat passed on my name as well as the names of a number of other artists. The director called me, and of course I said yes I’d be delighted to show my work. It turns out that this time, my Nooks & Crannies series was requested.

The Yuma Art Center exhibition is entitled Beautiful Brain Teasers, and will have a total of  five artists participating. It opens next week–Friday June 14 and will run until the end of July. The opening reception is from 6 – 8 p.m. I’m looking forward to seeing the work of the other artists and to see how the exhibition space looks with everything up on the walls.

Jim and I packed up my entire series of twenty-five Nooks & Crannies paintings a couple days ago and took a road trip to Yuma. Here are some of the photographs Jim took of the process.

Honda Element packed to the gills with paintings

Our Honda Element is packed to the gills with paintings. Jim’s masterful packing technique included hanging a painting from the ceiling (roof?) of the car. On the floor is a double row of paintings. Note the use of multiple bungee cords!

Renee, Director of the Yuma Art Center and Catherine, Gift Shop Manager, look at the paintings

Renee, Director of the Yuma Art Center and Catherine, Gift Shop Manager, look at the paintings which are spread out randomly in the West Gallery.

Arranging the paintings

The paintings are being shuffled around, placed according to theme and color, basically to what looks good next to what. It’s kind of like putting a puzzle together.

I'm getting into the action, moving the paintings about.

I’m getting into the action, moving the paintings about. It’s amazing how much these adjustments matter to the presentation of a group of artwork. When it’s done well, everything sings.

Checking off the titles with the list of paintings.

Checking off the list of paintings with the work to make sure everything in the gallery is on the list.

Don't I look official?

Don’t I look official?

Touching up the edges of the paintings

I’m touching up the edges of the paintings. It’s inevitable that no matter how careful, there will be tiny scratches and nicks that occur, mostly when I take the paintings off my storage racks in my studio, occasionally when sliding the work in and out of the car.

A final touch up on the largest painting

A final touch up on the largest painting

So I guess the moral to the story is to be prepared. I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time and to have good friends who believe in my work. But without the hard work of making lots and lots of paintings, all the opportunities in the world wouldn’t have done any good. Believe me, there have been plenty of times when I’ve questioned my sanity as I try to squeeze yet another new painting onto my storage racks. Guess what–soon all the racks will be empty, with the paintings out there in the world. Wish them luck.