Sunday, October 14, 2007

Artist reception versus Book Signing

My friend Marsha says that I go in many circles, meaning that she has seen me in action with many different kinds of people. Sometimes I think it is deeper than that. I feel like I am a different person in each circle. Not that I am disingenuous. I am a Pisces--a mutable water sign, so I swim in and out of different arenas with ease.

I did however notice a difference in myself preparing for my artist reception versus preparing for a book signing. Author Jill smooths her hair with curling iron and smoothing gel. She wears button down shirts in medium muted colors. She likes her red cat's eye reading glasses. She wears red toe-nail polish and drinks decaf Cafe Americano with cream. Artist Jill breaks out the funky jewelry and scarves with black clothes. She lets the hair take on its true wild and woolly character, and she wears as many earrings as possible--that's 5, plus an ear cuff. Her toenail polish is so deep purple as to almost be black. She drinks a dry earthy red wine.

I enjoy both types of events and have fun with anyone who comes to my events. I give out lots of hugs. My artist event was more casual, so that felt a little more comfortable for me. I don't like a big fuss.

This weekend at my Moon Dancer reception I had a great time. My aunt Sylvia traveled a distance and brought my 90-year old Grandpa to see my work. I can't thank her enough for doing that. My sister Jan came with my niece who sacrificed time on her 8th birthday to see me (and collect her present). My college roommate and her parents came. My in-laws, church friends, a co-worker, the wonderful women from the Woman-to-Woman collective.

The weather was perfect. We sat on the patio overlooking the Susquehanna River for 3 hours. (Most of my friends and family stayed the entire time). My friend Patti brought a world-class crab dip. We drank wine and listened to live music. (I traded the owners a copy of my book for a bottle of their Pinot Noir.) When it got chilly, Jim (the owner of the winery) put a log on the outdoor fire pit. His wife Sue was knitting a beautiful sweater. (The yarn alone, fluffy purple and blue twined, made me want to break out my rusty knitting needles.) My daughter found an outdoor stage and practiced her ballet moves. She was pretending to be alone, but really loved the audience nearby. I think she wanted folks to know that she was the ballerina in my portraits. She spent the rest of the time taking artful photographs with our digital camera.

Okay--maybe the artist reception has a leg up on book signings at this time. And maybe I felt a little guilty loving it so much. So much so, that I spent the whole of this morning in a book store with a cup of mocha and my red cat's eye reading glasses. A mother can't have favorites.

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