First, I'm really thankful just to be an artist because it saved me. It can be really frustrating at times and I have come home more than once from a show feeling dejected and sad because I had few sales or because someone made a derogatory comment about my work.
Being rejected from inclusion in a show at a gallery can feel particularly stinging because for some reason, artists tend to have this idea that their value as a person and an artist rises and falls on what a gallery or particular juror thinks of you. I've overcome that particular idea a lot, however sometimes you still just kind of feel like, "Why do I do this at all?"
I'm so grateful for my husband, this wonderful man who has always supported me, and put up with my tears and self doubt and coached me into carrying on. He has always supported me literally and figuratively, because I never make much money as an artist, but he's always been my biggest cheering section and puts up with me time after time with the inevitable "I'm going to quit" phone call that would often come in the middle of the day when I was out at an art festival with poor attendance or poor sales. Of course, he's a very talented bass player, so he gets the artist thing.
I'm so grateful for my home and for being able to get up and go out to my adorable little studio that is my own space where I can escape to create whatever comes into my mind.
I'm so grateful for my artist friends. Not only the ones that I see a lot who live near me and I spend time with, but also my online friends whom I've never met in person, but who so freely share their work with me and their ideas and techniques and give support and accolades to myself and to one another.
I'm so grateful for my beautiful daughter, this amazing human being that I was lucky enough to give birth to. I'm grateful to her for the challenges and inspiration that she's given me, for her encouragement for what I've already done and for the way she challenges me to be a better artist, a better human being and to appreciate myself as an artist.
I am also so grateful for the people who support my work through purchases and appreciation, without whom I couldn't continue.
Now this is going to sound weird, but I'm kind of grateful for the hideous childhood that I had, because without it, I wouldn't be the person that I am today. Everyone has obstacles in their life, some more than others. Some people might allow these things to overcome them and prevent them from living their fullest potential or blame negative experiences for their failures. Not saying, that I've never had a pity party of my own from time to time and I have used my work to explore some of the issues surrounding my childhood.
But, I look at my work as a great blessing which has helped me to move forward in my life and also create the childlike, happy, whimsical paintings and art that I do. I think that this work flows from the childhood that I didn't get to have, but it's a good thing, because it causes me to make art that makes others feel happy and uplifted.
Mostly I'm grateful to God for my life- the good things and the bad. I'm grateful for what Christ did for me and I'm grateful for my health and everything that I have today.
I hope you are counting you're blessing today too, and I would love it if you would share what you are grateful for in your life.
I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings on your life.