Friday, August 30, 2013

A long overdue thank you note!

A beauty shot of a few of the Chicks…
courtesy of Karin and her “eye phone”

Doesn’t the opening look like a New York Disco?

The Chicks with Balls show opened to rave reviews (see press coverage at right) and record crowds at BAYarts in Bay Village, Ohio. Some of the amazing ladies who posed for me flew in from New York, Boston and Omaha for the weekend to be part of the growing buzz that has surrounded CWB. And Ohio friends from as far as Akron, Hudson, Toledo and Columbus made the drive for the phenomenal opening reception hosted by BAYarts.

Karina and Kim in front of their paintings.

My honored houseguests this weekend were Pam, Karina, Kim, and Miles too. Arriving a day early, was my wise and funny friend, Norma, whom I’ve known since my early graphic designer days. She came from Massachusetts to show her support and to pose for me too…you’ll have to wait for the next show to see her painting though!

Pam and I crack up in front of hers.

Those of you who attended the gallery talk and have been keeping up with me on facebook know that my mom (my oldest Chick) had major surgery for her ovarian cancer in July. She still tires easily, so the non-stop action of the opening reception would have been too much for her, so she was not there.

My mom, Karina and Norma relaxing with some coffee

Table full of estrogen…we were joined by Karin, Maria and Cindy.

I did want her to experience at least some of the celebrity and friendship the other chicks were enjoying, so, on Saturday morning after the reception, I had a low key brunch for my houseguests and the local chicks who were able to make it…and of course my mom. Thank you to the ladies who attended…it was so great to see my friends making friends with my friends and do what we do best…talk, talk and talk.

Thrilled that Serpie was able to stop by the next morning as well!

A little mutual book signing going on.

Through the weekend’s activities, here’s what struck me the most, though I really shouldn’t have been surprised: my friends are such nurturing, caring friendly and welcoming people I was so proud to have them meet and bond with each other…bond the way I had individually bonded with each of them over the past 30 years or so. 

Nina, my poster Chick!

The second thing that so struck me were ALL the acts of nurturing, consideration, and support performed by so many of the people whose lives had been touched by “Chicks”. A multitude of thanks to those who posed for, came to see, supported, read about, commented on and have been following my Chicks with Balls painting adventure.

Some have been faithful supporters right from the start, following and sharing the blog, and keeping up with the paintings. Some have joined up along the way.

And over the past few years or so, I’ve had friends on facebook as well as neighbors in the street stop me just to let me know how they have been moved by my Chicks blogs. You have no idea how much I appreciate hearing positive feedback…really.

Maria brought her daughters to the show and poses with her painting.

So many of my friends…who posed and those who didn’t…have had the Chicks opening on their calendar for a year now…ever since I’ve started talking about it incessantly.

And at the opening reception itself, I was heartened by how many people were looking out for MY comfort. To be the recipient of all this unsung heroism was to truly be humbled and honored.

During the festivities, one friend kept me fed and made sure I didn’t starve during the fanfare of the opening. She also had a great tip for making it seem like I was socially drinking, when in fact I was trying to stay sober, coherent and upright.

Susie poses with her friend Joan…
you can see her painting in the background on the left.

Another friend noticed that I had my purse still hanging from my shoulder well into the opening. Knowing I didn’t want to leave the kind people who were talking to me, she made sure to take the purse from me and put it in a safe place, so I could truly play the hostess at the opening.

Another friend restricted her own son’s social life for the night of the opening, to ensure that no problems would arise and force her to leave during this special night. She told him it was a very important night for Miss Judy.

Sharon and I in front of her double portrait.
One of my friends who went incognito and tried to overhear what other guests were saying about my paintings…a tricky thing to orchestrate at your own solo show, but wonderful for her to do it for me!

And the thorough and kind people at BAYarts really went to bat for me too, facilitating press coverage and making sure I was introduced to anyone and everyone who expressed their love of the Chicks. 

And through the course of the weekend (and the past few weeks too), my own family really went to bat for me too. My boys took over many of my household chores as my sister and I took over many of my mom’s household chores during her surgery recovery. My oldest drove his brothers to their activities and lessons and my husband even traded cars with me for weeks so I could take my dad to visit my mom in the hospital in a nice comfy sedan instead of my very high truck.

Sunday morning was a relaxing floor play session…
legos are the BEST!

Even my mom, the original unsung hero…who likes to do things for herself, hired some temporary home care help, just in time for me to turn my attention back to the impending Chicks with Balls events. This was a great relief for me not to have to worry about her and my dad while I was worrying about the Chicks running smoothly.

And during the Chicks weekend, with four female house guests, where the home estrogen to testosterone level went up to 50/50, my teen boys babysat for 3-year old Miles. I loved when my middle son, Eric, the house quizmaster, expressed incredulity that he could give a very thorough and reasonable answer to one of Miles’ many question and still have Miles ask “why?” again and again. Oh the irony.

So, as I relax and reflect, I am so thankful that the Chicks exhibition, opening reception, extravaganza weekend, gallery talk AND workshop all came together so beautifully…so much due to all the support and help from so many Chicks (and dudes) in MY life. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

Me and my wonderful workshop students in front of my painting of Laurel…
who was also our figure model!

And lest you fear that this big thank you letter is some kind of a conclusion,
fear not! 

The show at BAYarts was the debut and Chicks is only just beginning to take off. Watch this blog and your emails to see how the Chicks with Balls journey continues to unfold!

My mom and dad in front of her portrait

Just one more… I did bring my parents out for a private viewing to see the show…doesn’t my mom look amazing?

Love this picture!