First of all, I was wearing a name tag that said Sarah Hazel -- Artist. Beginning at 7pm and on through the night, people came up and asked about the Astrid painting. What do I say? Do I talk about the wonderfulness of my friendship with this child's mother? About how much I miss this child's mother now that they've moved back to France? Do I tell them that this child's mother took the time to help a stumblingly ridiculously ignorant French student? Do I tell people about how my heart aches because a dear friend is now living across the Atlantic Ocean instead of just across the street?
Do I talk about all the times I saw this child delight in the world around her, loving everyone and everything? Do I talk about noticing something in the heart and soul of this child early on, and how I studied her face for eight months waiting for the perfect pose to paint? That there was something something I couldn't quite put my finger on that compelled me to paint this child?
What do I say to people?
They all wanted to talk about brush strokes and the colors I used in the painting and the techniques and blah blah blah. Every time I look at this painting I'm reminded of this sweet little neighbor friend and her precious mother and the dear dear friendship we shared with her whole family. How do I explain to people that this is what the painting is....it's part of my deep longing expressed through oil paint, brushes and canvas? How do I explain that I was just an instrument used to paint something that was already there?
The Astrid painting won the Peoples' Choice Award for Best in Show at the Xnihilo Gallery Showcase Showdown opening reception. I'm extremely grateful.