I left for the big apple with plans to plant seeds into the lives of others. I accomplished my goal and BONUS!! Others also planted seeds into my life as well. It was an amazing experience to see my art on a billboard in Times Square, and to have people ask me to sign my page in the digital magazine, “Autograph please?” I still smile as I think of it. I regret that I did not get more autographs from the other fine artists that were there. But I did get to meet some amazing people from the United States and also from out of our country. I certainly intend to find them on social media and stay connected so I can continue to learn from them as well.
The award ceremony was also very humbling. It is obvious that this is a true blessing from our Father God in Heaven. If it were not for the sovereignty and grace of Jesus Christ I would not even be here. I thought of my dad often through this trip. After all, he is the reason this adventure began. I chose to believe that he was looking down from heaven, with my mother by his side, and both of them were proud of me as I walked up to receive an international award for Top 60 Masters.
And another BONUS!! I returned home with a million ideas dancing around in my very tired brain. The tired was a good kind of tired. The kind where you know you have worked hard for something bigger than yourself. The kind of tired where you know that you are on the threshold of a new chapter, a new journey, and a new beginning. I can see it in my mind. I can see the picture as clear as if it were actually in front of me. Anyone who knows me also knows that I have an active brain. Quite often I say loudly with excitement, “I have been brain storming!” And those who are around me will pause with a big smile on their face and say , “Ok, that could be a good thing, or not a good thing. What are we doing now?” I have notebooks full of ideas and notes for myself. Some people journal, and that is great! But I have to keep dream notes. I listen to speeches, sermons, or songs and I see symbolic images of what the words are saying. I take lots of notes as ideas are birthed in my mind, I sketch images, I jot down reminders. I fear I can never get all of those ideas out into an action or get those images from my mind onto a canvas; but those that do make it are a statement from my heart and soul.
And another BONUS!! I learned how to give myself permission to be extra. To stop making myself smaller so that others may approve. The organization, Art Tour International Magazine, made it clear that we were chosen for a reason. So I realized that I should not minimize myself, my art skills, or my dreams. I should not hide paintings that were painted and/or will be painted with lots of passion and when needed a lot of tears. I know my skills still need improvement, and this obviously motivates me to work even harder on my creations. So I will continue to be and become extra!
Final BONUS!! You knew another one had to be coming, right? I have also been chosen to receive The 2022 Collectors’ Choice Award, also presented by Art Tour International Magazine. So, I will take this opportunity to say to my buyers and collectors, “You made a wise choice.” And for those of you who have not yet purchased an original painting by Dr. S, “It is time!” Like I said, many new ideas are dancing in my head, so a lot of good works are coming soon.
Ok, one more Final Final BONUS. I have already been selected and invited back to receive the 2023 Top 60 Masters award. So I have a year to work hard for the next goal and to prepare for the next chapter after this chapter.
Words can not express the gratitude I have for everyone that supported me and made this possible. I am very grateful that ATIM found me. I am not sure how they found me, I just know the day I opened their invite, I felt God’s blessings and I knew this was an opportunity that could not be ignored. And now my job is to utilize the opportunity that has been given to me appropriately. By utilizing this opportunity appropriately, I can show gratitude for God’s blessings, and for sending ATIM to plant seeds into my life. I can show appreciation to ATIM for their hard work. I can make my dad and family proud. And, I can create a legacy for my children and grandchildren, and great grandchildren. A legacy that began with my dad. How awesome for them to be able to say, "Since my grandfather / great grandfather / great-great grandfather began his art career...."
PS - Photo taken 2019. Since then we have three more additions to the family and one on the way. Making the total of grandchildren ten. Another reason I am so blessed! We are going to need a bigger/newer photo.