My first art show


IMG_0030by cheri sabraw

I did not win a ribbon.

I did not sell either of my two paintings.

However, one woman, perhaps in her early 80’s, chased me down the hall, as I began to load my art back into my car at closing time.

“Are you the artist who painted that enormous bison on a large canvas?”

“Yes, I am,” I replied.

“Well, I just have to tell you that my brother is an oil painter and is showing his work here too. I have spent a lot of time in art galleries. Last night, I walked by your painting at least five times and each time, I choked up with emotion,” and as she told me this story, she showed me her goosebumps today, there, as we stood back in front of “At Rest.”

“Thank you,” I replied. ” Not only have you made my day, but also you have reaffirmed for me what separates some paintings or sculptures from others. Thank you for taking the time to remind me that often, it is the emotional experience  we have that draws us to a work of art.

Another woman asked me if I could paint a Paso Fino horse, which would remind her of her father and her early life Puerto Rico. I told her I could do that and she took my card.

The judge of the show, during the critique, spent most of her time indicating why paintings “worked” for her.

“They must be stand-outs, unusual paintings that catch the judge’s eye, something different, a painting that adheres to the Rule of Thirds, the Rule of Odds, and something she called rhythm. ”

She criticized perfectly lovely pastel paintings because the focal point was just below the center of the painting or had a walkway that exited to the lower left of the canvas.

One of the winners in the oil painting category told me that composition was everything and while I agree to a point, I would add that sentimentality, pure joy or wonder, nostalgia and the like do more to sell paintings than all the Rules of Thirds and Odds in the world.

I have started a new blog so that I have a place for my thoughts about painting, art, and the like. You can visit at

Your thoughts are always welcome.





About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
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8 Responses to My first art show

  1. Sharon says:

    The words of the first two women are, in my estimation, far richer and valuable, than the monetary reward you would have received. Continue your talent!!

    • Cheri says:

      Thank you Sharon. If truth be told, I liked the two paintings that I offered for sale and was tickled to bring them back to the house. Hope all is great with you.

  2. Congratulations Cheri. Never forget that art lives through the imagination of the person seeing it. Without that contact, there is no art. I particularly liked the reaction of the first lady. Your painting will remain in her imagination and bring her repeated joy.

  3. Cheri says:

    Dear Aunt Kayti, Coming from you–an accomplished artist with an art resume extraordinaire–this comment means so much to me. Have you told your readers yet about your big birthday coming up? I wonder how many other women your age are blogging. As you are and have always been such a tremendous role model in so many ways, I thank you for your love and encouragement which means the world to me.

  4. Brig says:

    Your 80 year old patron is right on, God bless her for getting what art is really about, and having spoken up.

  5. Lue Perrine says:

    Nice Cheri! 😀
    “All great works are trophies of victorious struggle.”
    Julius Meier-Graefe

  6. Cheri says:

    Hi Lue,
    What a prophetic quotation. Today I started a tiny painting and trashed it in frustration. Then I thought of your quote.

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