“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Art Show - Caffe Tazza

Look at those hands.

Dear Lord, they drive my mother crazy. Big old farm girl hands. I learned early the trick of holding my hands over my head, letting the blood rush down into my arms and then and only then lowering my hands, letting my picture be taken, but I've grown old & care less. At least at the time the picture is being taken - when I see the final image, I am appalled at those big veins. However, because they exist on the other side of my hands also, and up into my forearms, I am always grateful for them when I have blood tests at my doctors - I am easy. And so I let them stay here in this picture, where I admit to photoshopping a few wrinkles away from my eyes. These hands of mine deserve some appreciation from me. I thank them for their ability to draw, for their ability to write, for their ability to transfer to paper or canvas or computer screen what I see in my head.

I didn't take a camera to the art show last night - it was sitting on my desk here in this cluttered office, but it wouldn't have mattered. I wouldn't've taken any photos. This image of me was taken by Joe - our photographer here at work - and I quickly covered my face. No, no, I said, I am famous for not showing all of me at once; he took another shot that looks remarkably like The Scream, and there is absolutely no way I will publish that.

It was a wonderful show. We were late getting there, getting pieces hung - I am always late, always running. Always. My mother showed up before we were done - she is always early. Always. But the pieces were finally hung - Michael & Joe doing the hard work, me doing the supervising, and hanging the stories next to each - and by then several of my relatives were there, and then more people showed up, and after that, the evening flew by. The very first person to speak to me - the first person I didn't know, that is, was Starla (how great a name is that?) who is a reader of this blog, who found me in Somerset Life and couldn't believe someone from our little town would be in those pages. And, as it works out, I later discovered from my niece that she & Starla's daughter played basketball on the same team - I knew her name was familiar - earlier this year. There were sales made, new friends made, connections made - a woman new here in town, opening a gallery just a couple of blocks from our business this fall; the 2nd show will be a juried show of East Texas artists, and she liked my stuff, and I was invited to submit pieces for the show. Good for my heart. :)

People bought things - they laid out hard earned cash & bought things - and people wanted things they couldn't afford, and all in all, I felt like an artist. Really. But funnily enough, Relyn was right when she told me to put the stories next to the paintings - people loved those stories. I cannot tell you how many people told me to write, write, write, and keep writing. Good for my heart also.

I got home exhausted, worn out, happy. It was the first time in years - probably 20 years, truth be told - that it was all about me. And you know what? I liked it. I don't have birthday parties, I am seldom, seldom the center of attention, and while that's usually the way I like it, last night it was nice to be the star. :) It was nice to feel validated, it was nice to have people like my stuff, it was nice to package up a painting and send it off to a new home, it was nice that people showed up for me. I admit it. I admit it. Oh, I am awful!

This morning I woke late, of course, aching all over. I have been so tense, so anxious about this little show, that I have been holding myself tight, and as my muscles start to relax, they complain to me. I have been letting Maggie stay out all night, as she loves to do in the summer, and when I let her in this morning, she looked so old and pitiful that I just began to cry. I fed her, got in the shower, and just cried. For Maggie, for the success of the show, for my achiness, for all of you who have been so, so wonderful in believing in me, for everything.

Last night I told Katie
to read the story
the crow on a bench painting.
It will make you cry,
I said to her -
It's about Mary.
Nothing makes me cry, she replied.
And mostly, she's right.
But this morning I remembered one thing that did.
Robert's bookshelves.
It's an inside joke,
and only the three of us will get it,
but I am posting it anyway.
I am tired,
I am happy.

Thank you all!
next project - an online store


  1. Good for you! I cant wait to get to that point... a reception all about my art sounds like heaven! You ARE very talented!

  2. So fab to meet you Debbie. Maddie Rose and I loved seeing your work. You have much to offer. Don't ever forget that.

  3. I wish I could have been there, but you know me, I wouldn't have understood a WORD anyone said! Good for you!!

  4. Eyes paint the heart
    for all to see,
    hands only frame
    subject matter.
    The story is told
    by those who came.

  5. Glad your show went well. I KNOW STARLA!!!! She and I were at Judy Hill's show yesterday. She had a busy day I guess. At least I think it's the same Starla, could there be 2???

  6. I am just beaming for you!!!!!!

    So glad it was such a success..I knew it would be. But I am glad that YOU are happy with how things went. Even your tears were a nourishing thing for you..a release.

    Big hugs to you!!!!

  7. oh the photo and recap make me so happy...I have those veins & I have the wrinkles that i PS out...but yes the hands do such lovely work and the lines around the eyes from years of emotion such as in this post...blessings by friend from down the road ...elk

  8. HOORAY!!! I am so happy for you and WOW what an accomplishment to have a show. That is so inspiring and I hope it's just the first of many.

    I have to say when I looked at the photo, all I could think was, Wow, look at her pretty eyes!

  9. hi there beautiful blue-eyed debi! thank you for sharing the way that you share---you are an inspiration to me. and i am so so glad that the night was a special one.

  10. Oh, Debi! I am delighted. I really am. I knew your show would be a success. Knew it. You have too much talent for it to be anything else. I wonder if the next one will be any easier? Any less stressful? Let me just give you a great big


    Also, about your hands. The first thing I thought when I saw this picture was, "Of course. Of course she has beautiful hands. You already know what they can do."

  11. Randi - You will be there one day. :) Thank you so much!!!

    Starla - It was wonderful to meet you & Maddie Rose. Emma said she & Maddie were on the same basketball team; we probably passed each other 1000 times in the gym, cheering them on. It made me feel so good to encounter in person someone who reads my blog - thank you! And thank you for the purchase - don't forget to call & let me know how to get it to you. (I left a message on your voice mail.)

    Michelle - You definitely would not have understood my relatives! LOL!

    jfrancis - You are right. The real story is told by those who came. :)

    Margo - Yes, the very same Starla - she told me she knew you. I hope your grand opening today went well - I'd planned on going, but the chance to do nothing overpowered me & well . . . you know. :)

    Jaime - Oh thank you, thank you! Those tears had been building up for a long time. Bless you for all your support and kindness. xoxo

    Tango - How very kind you are. Those eyes were worn out! And yes, the first show in a dozen years. I feel a bit reborn, and ideas are buzzing around my head like bumblebees. In fact, I kind of felt like painting this morning - LOL! But I didn't. I just lolled. :)

    Tricia - Yes,a blue-eyed Texas baby. That I am. As for inspiration, you are such to me - you are an amazing woman whose book I cannot wait to be finished, published & on the best seller's list! And an amazing artist also.
    Thank you!

    Relyn - Oh, you were Right! With that accidental capital R that knew what it was doing - LOL! The stories were a hit - so many people were there who'd never heard of my blog (imagine that!) & they loved the words as much as the pictures. Either way made me me feel good!

    I think the next show will be less stress because I now have a surplus of work. Unless, of course, someone buys it all up! :)

    And, oh, my hands! They really do make my mother crazy, but you know, I use those hands. Years after I was out of school, I ran into my "main" painting & drawing instructor at a grocery store. He asked if I'd been drawing, and when I answered yes, he said "Show me your hands." Luckily I'd been telling the truth & had blue oil pastel embedded in my fingertips - no way to wash that stuff off.

    Thank you ALL!!!!!!
    Love you all!
    :) Debi

  12. congratulations! Not only did you have a succesful show, but you survived all the physical, emotional, and mentail preparation that goes into one of those shindigs. :)

    I am very happy for you. it sounds like it was a great night.

  13. I have been dying to find out how it went! I am so very happy for you, I knew you'd be great!!!!

  14. Oh, Debi! It's taken me until NOW to get caught up to you on the show, but I kept thinking of you. Congratulations! I'll bet it felt so surreal and more like a dream than reality. But, the sold paintings are gone, the invitation to exhibit in a gallery is there! And the validation keeps on coming! Yay!
    It serves as an inspiration for me to get myself THERE too. I am so much better at promoting other people's work than I am of my own. I am so insecure about what I do and I know I just need to get over it.
    But, I am so, so very happy for you and your artistic success!!
    You go, girl!

  15. i would say look at those EYES! big, huge congratulations on your show!! what a step. what a triumph. what beautiful hands--veins and all (i have visible veins too--used to be a bitch hanging out with medical students...they were always far TOO interested in my veins). love your blog/shop--especially the tornado piece (i know you didn't call it that...). i wish i had an extra $500 right now. :-)



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