Dedication, Admiration and Inspiration - Art Shows!

Wild Coast by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki, acrylic, 30x40

Yikes, a third of the year is gone! What have I done? Looking back, last few months, have been all about art shows. So here goes, lessons learned from my recent shows and those I have visited.

1. Solo Show

Boy, did I work hard all last summer to create forty pieces for my Yoho show! It was extremely gratifying to see the finished pieces, varnish glistening, nicely lined up on gallery walls. I am happy for the pieces that found homes right away, and for having a brand new body of work to share in other venues. A nice selection of works is still available in this gorgeous little gallery in West Vancouver.

TIP - It is a huge pressure to carry out a solo show. Having the works ready is just one part of the story. The other one is to advertise, advertise and advertise more - I can't emphasize that enough. Make sure that everyone who'd possibly like to visit the show gets informed about it in timely manner. It's the only opportunity to see the entire body of work displayed together. You don't want your special art-loving people to miss it.

2. Two- artists Show

The opening was bursting with art lovers. I made some wonderful friends with visiting artists and members of The University Women's Club. I especially remember four young women engineers.They reminded me of my young self. We had a fabulous conversation about having engineering career while being in love with art.

TIP - I wish I had handouts with a list of my upcoming events to share with the visitors. I was asked about that repeatedly. This could have been printed on my cards that I had prepared as my thank you gift to everyone who came. I'll remember to do this for my next show.

3. Mind sharing

Two local artists, a father-daughter team, asked mo take a look at their two-artists' show, in a charming little gallery-cafe-jazz joint, and to offer my comments. The place was cute and the show was a chock-full of paintings representing artists' work over years. The questions they had were about sale prices, quality of photos of their art on the web site, and insights about submissions to non-profit shows. This was a great experience for me in getting connected with the art community, and I hope that my input was helpful.

TIP - When doing this kind of a thing, it's best to have a clear list of questions. It would be very difficult to provide feedback, not knowing the artists' goals.  Things that first come to mind may not be things that the other party is interested at all. But when you can focus on a particular question, ideas and insights flow like a river!

4. Inspiration

Vancouver Art Gallery is just now hosting an exhibit of works by "Cezanne and the Modern". I love the Impressionism and I adore Cezanne, but the one painting that just simply blew my mind was the one and only work by Van Gogh in the exhibit (Tarascon Stagecoach). I think that he must have used up ten tubes of paint on it, and the result is the juiciest, exuberant, most delightful brushwork in that entire gallery. Just seeing that one painting was worth much more to me than the admission fee. I admired most of the works in the exhibit, and a few were really memorable; there is a painting by Manet (Young Woman in a Round Hat) that is so masterful, I could stay there and absorb each brushstroke for hours. 


There is a huge difference between admiration and inspiration. 

That special punch in the gut is a unique thing. It's rare. It's precious. It makes my neck hair prickle. My eyes tear up and my throat tightens. 

Van Gogh did it for me this time. I've seen many of his paintings in the Musee D'Orsay last year. They had such a huge impact on me, I remember promising to myself  that I shall spend my life panting from my heart, until the day I can't hold the brush any more.

These shows were great, but now it's time to go back to the studio and start planning new bodies of work!

Your inspired friend,