We’ve lived in our house for 5 years, and most of that time I haven’t noticed the coat closet beside the front door, except as a place to store the center leaf of the dining room table. However, when you schedule your Holiday Party/Gallery Opening on the only rainy Saturday evening of San Diego’s year … suddenly you realize how lucky you are to have that coat closet!
Kudos to all the fearless souls who braved the unusual weather (more than an 1.5 inches of rain Saturday night) to join us for our gala. I could tell what the current weather was by how wet people were once they got to our front door, and with the crowd we drew, some people had to park a ways down the block! Fortunately once folks got here, the fireplaces were going, and there was plenty of champagne and wine and food. And of course artwork! We hung a combination of 48 equestrian, still life and plein air paintings in the house, and there were several more works still on the easels in the studio. You can see a gallery of the paintings here as well as candids from the evening. I featured Donna Richardson’s newly finished portrait of her recently retired Pan Am Gold Medal winner Jazzman. Paintings that also garnered a lot of attention were “Spanish Step” a new 30″x40″ oil of Andalusian stallion Oniris at liberty and The Water Lesson Series.
I had painted several plein air watercolors at Saumur this autumn. Normally I offer them for sale as soon as they’re completed – and they sell very quickly. I purposely held them back for the party. I have just a few left: they’re now framed and ready to hang, and those can be shipped in time for Christmas if you purchase within the next few days.
In the month before the party, so many details involved with planning…. Ordering frames, driving the hour to the factory to pick up frames and framing supplies, labeling those paintings. Cataloging the paintings by size, medium and price. Ordering greeting cards. Ordering books. Curating the show: where in the house/gallery would the paintings best fit? During the last week, Axel and I transformed “Casa Miller-Steiner” into “Gallery Miller-Steiner.”
I decided to have the party catered, so that I could spend the time chatting with my guests. We chose Monika Morris of Tenders Caterers, who has a philosophy of good, natural foods prepared irresistably…. Let’s just say we didn’t have any hungry people at the end of the evening and we didn’t have many leftovers! And thanks to Julie Blair, who took lots of photos of the merrymaking!
I spent Sunday recuperating, and Monday I’ll deliver the artwork that was purchased – it didn’t seem right to send paintings out into the rain on Saturday night!