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 H O T   T O P I C S
"Four painted flowers" - fabric 48" x 46" - Cindy Walter

My first open studio - It's now 1:01 and no one is here except for me. What does that mean?

It's a half hour before my open studio begins. I have been through the full range of emotions over the last couple of weeks. I'm still trying to figure out when I decided to have this event and how I let myself send out invitations.

Here I am, full of fear but managing it. Here are my top five fears:

1. No one will come
2. People will come
3. They won't like my work
4. They will like my work
5. They will expect food and there won't be any (I don't want them to eat and then touch the artwork.)

When I shared my fear with my son last week his response was wonderfully matter of fact. "Mom, this is the first time you have ever done anything like this so you have nothing to lose. There is nothing that you need to happen as a result of this so just enjoy it." Where do our children learn such wisdom and why am I so fortunate to have such a wise and wonderful son.

A closer look at the five fears

No one will come - what if you threw a party and no one showed up. Does that mean you didn't invite the right people? Did I not send enough invitations? Did everyone have tickets to the rolling stones at the same time as I picked for my open house? Am I being arrogant by having this event?

People will come - what if people show up and I don't know what to say? What if they find out that I can't host this type of event? What if they think I have no talent and no business doing such a thing? What if they come just to be nice to me or because they feel bad for me?

They won't like my work - after all art is in the eye of the beholder and maybe what I do isn't really art. Or maybe the quilters will resent my calling it quilting. What if they just throw up when they see it or go screaming out the door and can't get away fast enough?

They will like my work - what does that mean? Does it mean I should keep doing it or should I stop while I am ahead? What if they ask me how much a piece costs and I am too embarrassed to tell them?

It's now 1:01 and no one is here except for me. What does that mean?

There's no food - my mother taught me to be a better hostess. Am I being selfish by not offering food? There are drinks on the deck - but it has been raining for days and people probably won't go out there to get them. Will they be mad that I dragged them here and didn't give them anything in return? What if they are expecting food? Does food make people more appreciative of the work or does it make them more willing to stick around?

EEK and Egads! What have I done to myself!?!

It's 9 pm. I am exhausted. People started coming at 1:10. There was a steady stream for three hours. I had time to speak with each visitor, answer questions and be comforted. Two wonderful surprises - friends I had not seen in 10 years showed up. Family, friends and others all showed up. What a relief! What a joy! What a gift! This is the starting point - the opportunity to expose myself to people who are supportive and giving and appreciate my work. I got love, affirmation and strength to continue on this path.

I put myself out there with all of my fear and warts and imperfections and I got back love. It could not have been better. Now it is time to take the next step…. After I get some sleep.



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