6 Acceptance Letters


I have mentioned in past blog posts that I decided to start applying for things I didn’t have the nerve to apply before. I also applied for a lot of festivals I’ve never done, residencies that look interesting, and even a grant.

Unbelievably, I’ve gotten several acceptance letters this week. I feel almost giddy as they come pouring in. Here’s a few I got this week:

  1. Paper Birch Landing Gallery – June 15th is the art reception for the juried show that I was accepted into at Paper Birch Landing Gallery in North Kansas City. unnamed
  2. Maker Faire Pop-Up – I am super excited to get accepted into the Strawberry SwingMaker Faire Pop-Up at Union Station June 23-24th. This will be my first time doing a show with them, but I’ve heard positive things!
  3. unnamed-1Buttonwood Art Space – I also got into the juried art show “Bloom” at Buttonwood Art Space in Kansas City. The reception for that event will be the First Friday of July. They accepted 3 of my pieces and one thing I love about the show is that 30% of anything that sells goes to the non-profit organization, Halo. The organization is dedicated to helping homeless children. 
  4. KC Irish Festival – I was accepted into the Kansas City Irish Festival Art in the Park. This festival takes place August 31-Sept 2 in Washington Park across from Crown Center. I’m super excited to be part of this festival for the first time. (Did I mention that I just got my DNA report back today and it shows I’m 68% Irish)?!
  5. OP Fall Festival – I was accepted into the Overland Park Fall Festival Sept 29th in Overland Park, KS. I’ve attended this small festival for a few years now and thought it would be fun to actually participate this year.
  6. Potential Artist Residency – So this one is a bit tricky. I say potential because I didn’t actually win, but I did get waitlisted. I wasn’t sure how to feel about this. It wasn’t really an acceptance letter, but it wasn’t a rejection either. So, I guess I’ll just wait and see if I get bumped up the list. I’ll keep you posted of whether or not I’ll be headed to Colorado in August for a few weeks.

If you’re in the Kansas City area, I hope that you’ll come out and see me at one of the events!





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Creating Opportunities

I once heard that if you weren’t being rejected, you weren’t reaching far enough. This has been stuck in my head for awhile. I realized this year that I rarely do anything that I think I have a chance at being rejected at. I decided to buck up and take some chances. So far, I am accomplishing so many things I’ve been afraid to do. It’s crazy to see it when I actually write it all down.

A few of these things:

Art Talks
I went to New York Art Expo last month to see if it’s something I want to do personally. I was asked while visiting if I wanted to give an artist talk to the International Women’s Artists Salon. I said yes, and it was amazing!

In addition, as soon as I got home, I was asked by Crestwood Energy if I would present my work to the Arts Alive organization during a tour of their art collection!

From Studio to Retail
I have decided to start selling my prints and cards in retail stores. It’s official! You will be able to find my cards and prints at the Flying Pig Local Mercantile in Kansas City. Keep posted for more venues coming soon!

Art Shows
I recently showed some of my Happy Cow Paintings at the Chapel Gallery in my hometown of Yates Center, KS over the Memorial Day weekend for an alumni show.

For June I will be in two art shows. I have a solo art show at Atomic Design in Kansas City during First Fridays Art Walk on June 1 from 5-9. I was also accepted into the juried art show at Paper Birch Landing Gallery and will be having a reception June 15th, 5-9 p.m.

Gallery Representation
One of the most exciting things going on right now is that I have a gallery in Cincinnati and one in Ft. Lauderdale that wants to represent me. As soon as the ink is dry I will announce who they are!!

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From the studio to retail

Whenever someone buys a painting from me, I send along one of my art cards and write a thank you note inside. I love the way they look and the personalized touch.  sunflower card.jpg

Then in the past year, I’ve become more aware of art cards and prints in gift shops and local artisan boutiques. I keep having the reoccurring thought, ‘Mine would fit here’. I finally got up the nerve to approach a local Kansas City artisan boutique. I’m happy to announce that starting next week, my cards and prints will be sold at the Flying Pig Mercantile on Southwest Boulevard.

I also have a few other retail establishments in different cities in the works. Hopefully I’ll be able to announce them soon. Until then, you can find my cards and prints at the Flying Pig, or if you’re not making a trip to the city, you can get them on my website.

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When a vision becomes reality

Several years ago I had a vision. I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be cool to wear my own artwork’. The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. I researched companies that could print my artwork onto fabric. Then I approached a fellow artist and seamstress and pitched her my idea.

She instantly got excited. Then I got nervous. I started coming up with excuses about why I wasn’t ready. Some of these excuses were that I needed to lose weight, that I couldn’t figure out the right artwork, etc. It’s amazing how often we make excuses and hold ourselves back.

This year I’m learning to just jump in with both feet. This is one of those things I have put off. So finally, I did it. I ordered the fabric, collaborated with a seamstress, and my dress was made. There’s something really cool about walking around in your own artwork. When someone stops me to tell me they love my dress, all I can do is smile and say, “Thanks, it’s my painting!”

I’m not a seamstress. I can’t sew anything. I’m a painter. This vision seemed so far fetched to me. And now I’m walking around in the reality of my vision. I just can’t get over how cool it feels. It makes me wonder what else I can do now!

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I collect people

Someone told me once that I “collect people”. She was referencing the fact that usually after she ends a job or moves onto a new chapter in her life, she rarely stays in touch with people from that period of her life. After a decade, she was still my friend and we see each on a regular basis.

I Would Give You a Rose Garden web

I thought about what she said and she’s right. I do collect people in a sense. Relationships mean a great deal to me. I don’t know if it’s because I was raised in a small town where you became so close to everyone or I have always made people my family. Regardless, once you’re in my realm of friends, you’re probably there for good.

I sold a painting this week and was shocked and elated to see it was someone from 20 years ago. It made my heart happy that 20 years later he was still part of my life in a way even though we are no longer on the same path of our journey. They say building relationships matter when trying to run a business, but to me, relationships matter in building a life.

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Just Be You

For years I’ve been curious about the New York Art Expo. I’ve wondered if it’s something I might want to do. There’s a lot of publicity around it. About 35,000 people attend in a weekend and people come from all over. I decided this year I would go check it out.

As soon as I made the decision I also called an artist friend I met 11 years ago in Budapest at an art residency who now lives in NYC. She runs the Women’s International Artist’s Salon and is connected to many female artists in the New York region. To my surprise she asked if  would like to give an artist talk the weekend I was there because it just so happened to coincide with the monthly meeting.

I said yes without thinking about it. Then I got nervous. What am I going to talk about to a bunch of other artists? New York artists!? (As if geography made it different somehow).

I finally decided that I would just be me. I have never liked the pretentious side of art. I am just me. Kansas girl who loves the country, has big city dreams, and loves to travel, and painting keeps me sane.

My talk couldn’t have gone better. I spoke about how my art has evolved over the years into using texture in my paintings, and the transformational moment that pushed it in that direction.

I was approached after with hugs and some thanks. The moment someone told me that I inspired them, I knew why I was there. That is my biggest wish, to inspire others to shine their light and to just be themselves no matter how scary it might be sometimes.

I met so many amazing artists on this trip. I came back with lots of new ideas, inspiration for new paintings, marketing objectives, and lots of new creative friends. (I will share a video of my talk as soon as it is posted on YouTube).


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New York here I come

For several years I’ve been wondering about the New York Art Expo. It seems so shiny
i-love-ny-308460_960_720to a Kansas girl. Artists, galleries, New York…it can all be a little intimidating. Deep down, its some place I think I might want to show my work though. There’s a lot of potential there for opportunities.

I decided that I would invest in my art career and go check it out. I’m leaving this week to go to New York and check out the Expo. I’m hoping to come back with lots of ideas and a decision of whether or not it’s a fit for me.

In the meantime, I started contacting friends there. This in itself has led to a really cool opportunity! I will be giving an artist talk for the International Women’s Artists Salon on Saturday evening. It will be recorded so hopefully I’ll be able to share after its over.

I’m opening myself up to all possibilities and looking forward to a week out of my element.


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I got my first rejection letter!

I read somewhere that if you’re not getting rejections you’re not reaching far enough. This has stuck with me. Probably because I avoid doing anything that leads to rejection. After letting this resonate with me for awhile, I have decided that I need to reach further.


Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and tons of other creatives have shared that they have all received a huge amount of rejections.  For some reason I found some comfort in this. In fact, I decided to take it in stride. I’m look forward to the rejections. It’s par for the course and I’m not going to get anywhere playing it safe.

This week (even though it made me feel a little sick to my stomach) I contacted two artisan boutiques about selling my work. The next day I received my first rejection letter. Turns out, it didn’t sting nearly as bad as I thought it would. I was given the reasoning that they are not looking for new artists at this time. Maybe for the first time in my life I managed to not take it personal. Then the second letter came, and guess what? They love my stuff and want to set up a meeting!

Whoa! Something I’ve wanted to do for over two years but was too afraid to stick myself out there, and with one simple email I have a meeting.

Time to stick myself out there. Bring on the rejections (and some new ventures)!

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Sometimes you lose sight

I recently read the book “Year of Yes”. If you haven’t read it, seriously, go read it. I avoided it for a long time because I kept thinking, ‘I don’t need another book on how to to say Yes more. I say yes plenty’. This book surprised me quite a bit though.

It made me realize that I have made A LOT of excuses in my life. Painting keeps me sane. So I paint. But due to some contract work, I quit booking shows for fear I would be on the road.  I have been a little intimidated to apply for some other opportunities that have been sitting on my desk. I use excuses like, “I probably won’t be around to do them” and “this pays better”.

I realized I have used the contract job in a lot of areas in my life. Yes, it does require a lot of travel time. Turns out this year, I put all my eggs in one basket. I planned my entire life around a job that didn’t come to fruition.

Here’s what I’ve realized about myself this week. I no longer have a social life. I use to be quite social, but when you travel a lot, you are happy for any moment at home with your family. I have stopped leaving the house, being involved in social settings, and being active in my community. When I am home I’m painting alone in my studio or doing something with my son.

I have let myself go. Health wise, I am not at an optimal place. This one sort of snuck up on me. Again, I used the excuse of travel. It’s hard to eat healthy when you travel (though it can be done with a little effort). It’s hard to have a routine, therefore I don’t work out. I use to hike a lot, but Kansas winter halted that.

This week trying to do pretend Ninja Warrior on a course my son and I set up on playground I realized just how bad it had gotten. I finished the course, but found myself really struggling to climb and throw my legs over top bars, do monkey bars, etc. That was my wake up moment. When did this get so damned hard?

And insert book, “Year of Yes”. I’ve been busy making excuses. So this week I decided to stop. I sold 2 paintings this week because I got my ass in gear and started painting and marketing. I am approaching 4 galleries this week. I also signed up for a mud run challenge with my son and said yes when asked if I wanted to join a sand volleyball team. Seriously, exercise and social activity? Who am I right now?

So expect to see lots more art. I have inspiration oozing out of me and it’s time to focus. No more excuses. I have been handed the time to run with my art and to take care of me. What excuses are you making?

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Flowers that Never Die

When my son was a toddler, he use to talk people into buying me Rose Heart webflowers on his behalf because he knew that I loved them. When he was about 3 he became sad when I explained he couldn’t keep touching the flower petals because it made them die faster. He was so upset that they died. I told him I would paint flowers so they never die.

Since then, my flowers have evolved. I’ve been on a mission for over a year to figure out how to create textured flowers using only acrylic paint. After much trial and error, I finally have figured it out. I’ve been making paintings with my new textured flowers.

Loe grows here.jpgIf you’re looking for flowers that never die for Valentine’s Day or just to say ‘I love you, consider a flower painting. You can see a selection of the new paintings here.

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