|My 2012 entry "Snow on Willow Bay"|
I've always said that my first BIA exhibit was truly the launching pad for my art career. It was a Friday afternoon in early May of 2007 when I got the coveted "big envelope" that changed my world. I was driving to work and, as I always did, stopped at the post office to pick up my mail. I remember sitting in the truck trying to open the letter with my hands shaking. There was a flood of emotion as I saw "Congratulations!" in the first line. I almost didn't go to work that day, but what else was I going to do? I told the good news to a co-worker (and fellow struggling artist) that evening and mentioned how I wasn't sure if I'd go to the opening. She simply replied, "Are you out of your mind?!" Funny how those 6 words changed things for me. That was the moment I decided I had to go... even if it took my very last penny. When I look back on where I was as a painter 5 short years ago, I can't help but be stunned at the progress of my career... due in no small part to the people I met in Wausau. They helped get the ball rolling and I will be forever grateful.