Being Resolute: Finishing Strong in 2021 and Big Dreams for 2022 & Beyond
I want to preface this blog post with an experience we recently had that highlighted to me in a significant way the support and love we have from you. It was mid-December, and I had just clicked "submit" on my final assignment for the final class of my Master's Degree. I was feeling motivated to finish everything up, so went to my financial account to pay the $15 graduation fee I knew I would need to take care of before receiving my diploma. To my horror, I found a $5,000+ charge to my account due to a technicality in residency. After days of stress and hours of phone calls, we were told we would have to pay the increased tuition. The tears, frustration and pain flowed freely that night. Unbeknownst to me, Colter had reached out to many of our loved ones and shared the situation. The next morning he told me that the whole cost had been covered by family and friends who wanted to show me their love and support. Again the tears flowed freely, but this time they were fused with gratitude and wonderment. I share this story as a testament of the generosity, compassion and charity of the people in our lives. The dreams we have accomplished and the goals we are reaching for are evidence of the community that is lifting us up and encouraging us forward beyond our own capacity. Of this we are keenly aware and will forever be grateful.
Shows and Festivals
For us the Utah Art Market was a mixed bag - which we could have expected given that it's our first experience with it and didn't know how to best prepare. (Anyone else relate with this?!) Colter spent the weeks and days before the event preparing a couple dozen small sunset paintings to have available alongside some larger pieces he had on hand. The market is a two weekend event, with art booths showcasing work from local artists without the artist required to be there. We stopped by the Market with only one more evening to go, and still nothing had sold. Bummer! As we walked around (with our two toddlers who wanted to touch everything!) we realized a few things: have your name prominently displayed on your booth, use the vertical space and gather your clientele. In the end, Colter did sell a few pieces to a previous client who stopped by and was able to trade for some sweet rock art that he added to our growing art collection.
Our big art project right now is prepping for Western Art Week in Great Falls, MT. Colter will be populating a full booth for The Best of the West with two of his emerging styles, Contemporary Western Animal Portraiture and Contemporary Clay on Canvas. He's recruited his first studio assistant - me - to tackle together the bulk of the project! We spend a few nights of prepping panels and listening to audio books together. So far a fox, bison (surprise!), elk and cougar portraits are underway, with about 12 clay canvases in various phases of readiness. Here we come, Great Falls!
Another show coming up (more quickly than we imagined) on our radar is the Western Landscapes show at the Willard Art Center in Idaho Falls. Colter will resurface some old faves as well as create a few new landscapes to showcase at one of our favorite venues.
A special thanks to everyone who supported us during the Instagram Christmas art sale. It was a blessing to reconnect with many of you and feel your love and support for this journey we've taken.
We experienced a memorable first recently - Colter's first ever gallery sale! Hucklebear (one of Colter's first animal portraits in his new style) was recently acquired by a collector. We are thrilled about this and hope it is a good predictor of what more can come through Corwin Galleries this year.
Big Sur is now in the hands and home (and hopefully heart) of collectors whom we love. They happened to be in town from out-of-state, and were able to pick it up in person, which was a special treat for us because it meant cherished in-person time with people we love. Big Sur holds special memories for them, which we hope they can pass along to others through Colter's work, given the fire devastation that has recently plagued the coast. Our prayers and love reach out to those who have lost such a beloved landscape.
The next large-scale commission project is a sunset with teepees scene for another collector who we love. After working through a few preliminary iterations, there is paint down on the actual canvas! We are looking forward to seeing this piece come to life.
A highlight of the past few months was participating in a wildlife photoshoot with Mark McKenna, Colt Idol and other artists at Triple D Ranch near Kalispell MT. We are all glad Colter made it home safely, the cougar seemed to have it's eye on him. I'm looking forward to some awesome predator animal portraits based on the photos he took there.
One of our annual marathon experiences is sending out family and art updates to (hopefully) everyone we have ever been friends with... We have 500 cards, so the resources are there. Unfortunately we have fewer addresses than we do memories. So, if we haven't yet sent you a card, we still want to, and would love your address! Just beware, it puts you in our records to receive an annual update from our family for the rest of forever! We promise to make them fun reads and real-life pictures for your enjoyment.
One of our favorite ways to connect with other artists is to purchase or trade for their work. After very not-subtly telling him exactly which Rose Datoc Dahl print I would like for Christmas, Colter decided to surprise me with the beginnings of a more extensive art collection. We now happily have work by Eli Kearns, Jenedy Paige, Shari Lyon, Nicole Parish and yes, Rose Dahl in our home.
For Thanksgiving we made the much anticipated bi-annual trek down to Las Vegas to spend the holiday with my family. This was Colter's first ever Las Vegas Thanksgiving trip, so the legendary relay races, four-wheeling and thrift shopping finally became a reality for him.
We hit the roads south again for pre-Christmas (and a wedding) with Colter's family. We hiked, swam, played pickle-ball and generally enjoyed Saint George, despite the rain and slight head-colds.
For Christmas Eve we traveled up to Salt Lake City to attend a choral program at the Cathedral of the Madeleine. It was a beautiful way to remember Christ and the unity His birth can bring if we will focus on emulating His love and compassion - which we had to practice exercising with our kids who were having some difficulty getting along for the duration of the 2 hour program! (They did great given that they are both toddlers.)
We are dreaming big for 2022. Already this January has been the best art producing and selling that we have ever had, and we hope that will be a foreshadowing of what we can accomplish throughout the rest of the year. We are very aware that these dreams are largely made possible by you, and we are grateful. Grateful for your support, grateful for your love, and grateful for your encouragement!