Hopefully your year has started off as good as ours has – the Sheep Incognito flock has been meandering around the art meadow already, even though much of it is still in Winter Mode. To avoid the cold and the Snowpocalypse that gripped the Southeast a few weeks ago, we took my flock of Sheep Incognito paintings and prints on a road trip to Sunshine State Florida. Except, it really did not live up to it’s name…
The first show of this year was the always lovely, and perfectly managed by Paragon Events Sarasota Fine Art Show. Right across the road from the Marina and Marina Jack’s in Sarasota, the show was comprised of some very nice, high-end artwork from about 100 artists. The visitor numbers from last year’s show there (which was the first year this event took place there) had almost doubled, it seems. We received so many nice comments and smiles from everybody, that this most likely will remain in our top three list of places to spend January in Florida at.
Of course, because we needed a bit of a break from the cold, the weather decided to remind us why we brought some long sleeved shirt with us on the trip: it started raining. And the next morning, it rained some more. And then, it decided it needed a bit more rain…We spent quite a bit of time sitting in the mobile studio (our RV), rather than meandering, visiting the manatees, or checking up on the Mouse with the big round ears.
But we did get a chance to take a few walks along the beach, gathering inspiration for some nature themed jewelry, and just letting our right side of the brain do some playing. So even with the lower temperatures, the ideas for making new things happen, how to make people smile, and to make the world a little brighter with my art kept coming. A very comforting fact…
After a week of sitting in the tin can there, we felt energized enough to get back on the road, heading north-east to lovely Mount Dora, Florida to attend the Mount Dora Arts Festival. This was my fourth year there (maybe third instead? can’t remember…hello senile me…), and though attendance was down quite a bit on Saturday, it was still packed with people all weekend long. Sunday finally rewarded us with mid 70’s and 80’s for temperatures, and a large crowd of people. Not very many art pieces walked out of the area, but still, all in all, my top Florida show historically.
The nice part is getting to re-visit with artist friends – some only do 5 shows a year, so it’s almost a miracle to cross paths with them at all the shows we do…
The other nice part, is the people that stand out from the crowd – the ones that make a memory, that make us smile, that make the world a better place, if even just for a moment in time.
Once such person – whose name I do not know, and whose face I probably would not be able to call out of a line-up – was a gentleman who just casually walked up to my desk, handed me a handful of candy, and said: “Thank you for being here – your work made me smile. You deserve to have some candy…”.
Another such moment, was a lady walking out of my booth with a big smile on her face. She said “I needed that smile today – my friend is very sick, and will not be getting better. I REALLY needed that smile. And, this is the first time since my husband passed on one and a half years ago, that I’ve been out and on a trip by myself”.
Or the lady at the table next to us, after looking through one of my calendars, who started silently crying, because one of the images captured her and her son and their relationship perfectly – even though we had never met before.
Or the guy fixing our trailer, who generously let us park the trailer in his lot for free, and who gave me a big bear hug as we were leaving his shop. Just because, it’s a thing one does. Or should be doing more of.
The world is filled with these sparkling stars in my world – I do count each one of those people and events as blessings – they do not go unnoticed.
I may forget faces, I more often than not forget names, I regularly forget appointments, birthdays, events, papers, etc. – but I do not forget the people that make my world a better place.