For a long time I did not search for exhibitions to partake in. It was because most of my paintings did not belong to me any more, so there were no paintings to exhibit. In the first five years (or so) of my painting carreer, I gave away every painting I created. I don’t exactly know why. It felt right, though, to give my first painting to my father’s parents, because I inherited my artistical talent from that side of my family (even though my grandparents don’t paint). That painting is now on their bedroomwall.
The next painting I gave away to my boyfriend. Luckily we’re still together, so the painting still is in my house,.. but it would be weird to exhibit that one. Although I could.
If I wanted to exhibit the three paintings I created after those, I would have to drive all around the Netherlands to get them back. One of these paintings, I created for a friend of mine, who lives about 30 km from my house. All she wanted was a sepia-colored painting, and I chose to paint a wedding bouquet in sepia. I named the painting ‘Lady Muskara’ because her family originally comes from the city ‘Nevşehir‘, and Muskara is the city’s ancient name. In the back of the painting you can see the city’s skyline. I honestly don’t know whether she still has the painting. If she doesn’t; it would be hard to exhibit this one.
Same story goes for the painting I called ‘Lady Sunshine’. With this painting, for the first time, it was not meant to give away. I just created a picture I liked, and was about to sell it. So I sold it. But I only remember the first name of the lady who bought it. She was called Liesbeth (if my memory doesn’t let me down). I’ve put the painting on a Dutch online marketplace, and she jumped on it! Such a nice experience; when someone wants to buy your work! She asked me to keep her posted on new works, but unfortunately I don’t have Liesbeth’s e-mail-adress anymore, and without an e-mail-adress it’s kinda difficult to keep someone updated. Hopefully she’s pro-active and she’s searching for me on the internet. Because my website: http://www.articated.nl isn’t hard to find, and there one can find my latest, but also my oldest works, and everything in between, so keeping my works out in the open might reach her too.
But I continued to give away paintings: I painted a rose on a book: ‘treasure in books’, and gave it to another friend. I painted a silhouette of a jumping woman and gave it away to my other grandparents. ‘Peace to you, my friend‘; a picture of a woman with a cat, was not particularly meant to give away, but when my pen pall said she wanted tot have it, I gave it to her.
The last painting I gave away, was called ’33’, because I was 33 years old when I finished it. The idea of the painting just matched with what I thought my friend would like in art: a bit weird, detailed, authentic, with usage of mixed media, philosophy and music as subject and painted on a wooden panel. I like how it turned out, and once it was finished, I decided it was the last time I gave away a painting. I had practiced painting enough; now it was time to become the real artist, and real artists exhibit. And sell.
Even still, I was 36 years old when I had my first exhibition. The reason? I’m usually not in a hurry to finish my paintings. Therefore I mostly finish just two paintings in a year.
My first exhibition was one with other artists from a so called ‘kunstkring’; an art group. Once in a year, they have an exhibition of their member’s art. And I could join. I exhibited three paintings, three graphite drawings, three pen drawings and two pyrography works. I didn’t sell. But at the exhibition; actually no artist sold anything; so there was no need for me to complain. It was a good experience. So I currently am searching for more places and opportunities to exhibit my art. If all goes well, I will exhibit my pyrography art at, at least, two more exhibitions, this year.
In the picture below you can see me, and my son, at the exhibition I attended.