The Weird And Wacky Way I Was Invited To Holland.


(By they way, I was invited to teach a 3 day workshop in Holland on April 5th-7th, if you want to sign up, here’s the link. The last I checked it was already half full so, you may want to jump on it.)

It may not be that weird and wacky to some people, but to me, I’m still not sure it really happened.

Several months ago, a relatively new friend asked if I would like to rent a room at a gallery with her and her group. Someone had dropped out and they needed another person.

Of course I did! I assumed it would just be a place to hang my art for a month and nothing would probably come of it, but it was just sitting in a storage unit, so why not.

Enter, the universe, fate, G-d, whatever you’d like to call it.

I didn’t realize at the time I would be expected to actually go to the opening since it was actually the opening for a contest in the same gallery. We just rented a room for a month. I’m pretty introverted and even though I love to stand around and listen to people discuss my art when they don’t know I’m there, I also really love not going out in public.

The show was almost immediately after I returned from Arkansas and I was wiped out. I did not want to drive an hour and a half just to stand around trying to convince myself I should talk to people.

via GIPHY

I made myself go. Mostly because it was my first time at this gallery and also because my friend was driving. Plus, free food and art. If I could have done it in my pajamas without talking to anyone, it would have been a win all around.

Fast forward to arriving. I walk in the door and the gallery owner immediately tells me someone is looking at my art and wants to talk to me. I was seriously two steps in the door.

If you don’t know any artists, having a gallery owner tell you someone is looking at your art and wants to talk to you is the best thing you can hear. Well, right after, “Please take my money.”

Luckily my work was in another room so I got to geek out on my way without anyone watching. There’s Margo ready to ask all sorts of questions. I didn’t realize she was a fellow artist nor that she didn’t live in the country until the end of the conversation when she asked if I would teach her. I get asked this a lot and, as most artists know, people don’t usually follow through. She was serious. She wanted me to teach her Monday. (Art shows are usually on Fridays.)

They paid me a bit up front and we scheduled a time and place for Monday.

I loved spending a few hours with her and her husband. They are both friendly and upbeat. Over all, lovely people. Margo, being a watercolor artist herself, was a quick study.

Something else I didn’t realize was that she teaches watercolor in Holland and has other artists come to her school to teach. My lesson was also my audition. How wonderful was it that she had me audition without actually telling me before hand?! Very. She spent a bit of time talking about how wonderful Holland is and how the school is set up. I had no idea she was going to ask me to teach, but by the time she did I had no hesitation. Not that I would have had much anyway. Who wouldn’t want a paid trip to Holland?

You may be wondering how this is at all weird or wacky. It seems pretty straight forward. Well, that’s because I told you the story from my point of view.

At said lesson, Margo told me how they came to be at the gallery. Her and her husband were in the states for two conferences in Florida. This was in St. Louis. She didn’t want to come all the way to the states just for a week of conferences so she found a watercolor workshop in St. Louis to attend. (My kind of lady.)

Then, they heard about a fun little town named St. Charles, which happened to be where the gallery is. About 30 minutes from St. Louis.

They, I believe, were walking down the street and decided to stop in this little gallery and wandered into the back room. Where they saw my art.

Almost any other time, with how I was feeling, I would have stayed home. I would have missed the opportunity and never even knew it had existed. Had I not also been teaching a couple of other friends painting on claybord and just started teaching art to homeschool groups, I probably would have also shied away from telling her I could teach her. Actually, had I not thought she would forget she had even asked, I probably would have still shied away.

via GIPHY

Anyway, you can read a bit about it in her own words and watch the video at the end and maybe even sign up if you want to hang out in Holland. The video is mostly in Dutch, except when I awkwardly participate. Because that’s what I do and that’s who I am.

I also happened to run into an amazing artist I had been meaning to take out to coffee and we ended up forming an art group with some other wonderful artists. All in all, it was a pretty solid argument for “just showing up.”