Business card by vistaprint.com
Recently, I had a very new experience with doing Art. For the first time in my life, I was asked to donate some paintings for a fundraiser to raise money for a transition home for abused women and children. It was a novel idea, to sell my paintings to help others. It all began last year when I was asked if I had any paintings to donate for charity. I wasn’t ready at that time, and it was far from my mind. But the truth of the matter is that I treated my paintings as part of me, like my own family. None of my art had been given away, much less sold, with one exception.
Actually, I recall back nearly 50 years ago, in the 1970s, I had sold a painting. At that time I had a total of 1 and a half years of art lessons with 3 different teachers in drawing and painting when my children were toddlers. A little old lady came to the art show at the downtown Honolulu YWCA and bought a seascape that I had painted. I regretted selling my art work and when I returned to retrieve it, it was sold. I was surprised and saddened, like I had lost a part of me. It may be difficult to understand, but there are some artists who struggle with mixed emotions over their art work.
Back to the fundraiser, a friend who is on the planning committee of this annual event involving several churches, approached me once again for a painting. By then, I was without excuse to not participate in this worthy cause. I even had a head start of a few months to put together a number of small paintings.
I chose to do simple, uncomplicated paintings and bought some inexpensive wood frames from different thrift shops. I was also given a whole table to display my dozen paintings, and a stack of beautiful books of inspirational poems written by a friend Norma Ching with paintings by her famous artist son, Patrick Ching. (About 30 years ago, Patrick did the design cover for the Hawaiian Telephone Company Phone Directory that was distributed to over 200,000 in circulation.)
When I arrived at the United Church of Christ Transition House fundraiser, there was a hub of activity of people setting up for the country store and special tables for donated items. Soon about 150 guests arrived for the benefit dinner which cost $45 a ticket. Altogether with my display table of paintings and books and many donated items, over $7000 was raised, surpassing the goal set for the evening. By the time I had a chance to take a photo of my display, some of my mini paintings (5×7) were already sold ; 2 seascapes, 2 florals, and 2 still life paintings bought from my table, and also a few books!
This fundraiser was a very exciting and interesting experience for me, to be able to display my Art work, to help others in their lives with my paintings, and also to give back to God what He has given to me, the gift of Art! It was a very interesting evening talking with folks and even meeting another artist. Many looked through my personal art photo album, and also picked up my business card.
What I learned from my evening’s experience was that there was a great blessing in donating my art to help others going through a time of hardship, and it was a blessing to see that my gift of Art also brought joy to others. Fundraising may be a new venue for me, painting and donating Art to help others that I now feel very Blessed to do so!