I've noticed in conversation as of late, that I seem to have established a set of unwritten rules in my life, which I (and hopefully the recipients) have benefited from greatly.
1. Accept invitations offered at any time for a place to stay when you are 'in the area'. I warn people when they offer a place for me to stay next time I'm in whatever town. I'll take you up on that, I tell them. Even if it's a year or two for now. That invite is now filed in the back of my mind. Don't say it if you don't mean it. I will come back!
2. Always talk to strangers. You never know what may come of a random conversation, whether you are trying to promote yourself or not. My second visit to Newfoundland, and the Bearded Dude's first, was helped made possible by a random encounter I had with a kind gentleman under a tree in St. John's Harbor during my first visit to Newfoundland. That sounds rather dodgy, but it wasn't! What happened was this: I was out wandering the harbor with my day-pack, looking for things to draw and then it started raining. There was a man sitting under the tree, so I took shelter there also, and we had a lovely chat. I showed him my sketchbook and later when I got back home to Edmonton, he looked me up on Facebook and told some of his friends about our encounter. Soon I had another contact in Newfoundland, a friend of his, and an open invitation for a place to stay should I ever return. A year or two later, I did just that, and the Bearded Dude and I stayed with the man's friend, who we hadn't met in person yet. We met some of their other mutual friends during our visit, and now always have a place to stay if we are in St. John's. My first visit to Newfoundland is also where I met my good friend Sam, a spunky Brit living in Ottawa. We shared a hostel room and chatted a few nights before drifting off to sleep, and kept in touch after that. Since then, I have visited Sam in Ottawa, adventured with her in Algonquin Park, hosted her in our home in Edmonton, and spent a lovely week in her Dad's place in Frome when I went to England a few years ago. If I had been too shy and not conversed with either people, I would have missed out on so much adventure and wonderful friendship!
3. Contact artists whose work you admire, and see if they would be interested in trading a piece of your work for a piece of theirs. I have been the lucky participant of many wonderful trades over the past couple of years. This go-around, I am receiving a lovely trio of prints from Linda Cote in exchange for the piece shown below. I've also made some stellar trades for knitted goods, baked goods, and other services. Three cheers for the barter system!
Packing up this piece got me thinking about chance encounters and things I try and make consistent in my life. There are loads others I am realizing, as I write this, but these are the pertinent ones that lead up to this particular painting and day.
Now to construct a really ugly box to send it in.