|Singing on stage, my art in the background|
|at Manhattans -- "Wind" painting in centre.|
I got a call from a man whose wife had fallen in love with one of my portraits, "Wind." He told me that his wife had given up a baby for adoption when she was younger. It was an "open adoption" and she was still in contact with the adoptive family. They sent her pictures of her daughter through the years. Her daughter was now a teenager and apparently looked exactly like the girl in my painting. I was so touched by the story that I couldn't say no. I couldn't imagine ever giving up a child for adoption. I had a hard enough time parting with a painting! I cried when I said goodbye to her. At the same time it was very rewarding to know that she would be hanging in someone's home and that she would be loved. It was also exciting to actually sell my artwork. I felt like a real artist now.
I exhibited my artwork in a couple of other galleries and shows. It was a win-win situation. If I didn't sell any pieces, I was happy that I got to bring them back home where they belonged. If I did sell something then I felt gratified that someone liked my work enough to own it. I did some custom portraits for people as well. For a while I was painting almost every day. I seemed to go through phases where I craved writing, phases where music was everything and other phases where I lived to paint. As long as I was being creative, I was happy.
|Art on the Street show|
|Art in the Window show|
Painting was a way to escape, I would lose myself in it. I filled my entire house with my artwork. I remember when I first moved into my house it didn't feel like home until I put my paintings up. It was like having members of my family all around me. Many people have told me that I put a little of myself into each painting.
Then for a long while I didn't paint at all. A boyfriend had given me three large canvases as a gift hoping to inspire me to pick up the brush again but they sat there blank for months.
When I was decorating the nursery for the baby I wanted to do an ocean theme and was inspired to finally paint the three large square canvases with mermaids and babies. It felt good to paint again. I had missed it. Michelle was fascinated by the painting that hung over the change table and stared at it everytime she lay there.
Last year in February, after Michelle's father left me, I was in financial trouble and looking for ways to make money. (He had left owing me money, prince that he was, and had run up my bills before he left. Also some unexpected expenses came up so it was just a brutal month all around!) I sold many items on Kijiji trying to make ends meet and one of the customers who came to the door admired my artwork in the hallway. She wound up buying a few of my paintings. I sold them for a fraction of what I normally would have because I needed the money desperately to buy a new washer (my washing machine had just died on top of everything else.) Though they were a few of my favourites it didn't have the same sting as selling "Wind" did. My priorities were different now. There was a real baby on the way and she meant everything to me. I'd do whatever I had to for her. I do still plan to do new versions of them one of these days. I didn't get around to it while I was pregnant and it's close to impossible to paint these days. Maybe when Michelle is older she'll be interested in art and we can paint side by side.
When I was talking to a friend about not painting anymore she said that now my baby is my masterpiece, my greatest creation of all. She's right.
Recently I was inspired to write a song for Michelle called "You're the best." It begins --
"Of all the things I've made and done, my life's greatest feats --
You're my favourite one, you're my masterpiece.
Of all the things I've seen -- beautiful and new,
nothing can compare, my sweet love, to you."
Here's a video of it on Youtube. "You're the best" -- music and lyrics by Ann Marie Pincivero:
Of all my creations, she is the most unique, the most precious. I am so grateful for her. She is my magnum opus, my masterpiece.