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Artist Ann Rea
Longing for the Creative Side of Self
childrenWhile I’m out showing my wares I meet many people from different walks of life.  And because the story of my painting is so closely tied to my walk through life, I share this.  In turn, people share their stories with me. Last evening, Calistoga Ranch hosted me at their Friday night wine tasting.  I always look forward to these events because the staff is so very gracious and supportive.  And of course, the setting is beautiful. I met a little girl who was about five and she pronounced, "I'm an artist  too!"  She still held that confidence that she was a creative being.  I love this. And last night I met two guests in particular.  One used to paint and one used to sculpt.  I meet many people who tell me how they used to have a creative interest but then life happened.  One shared how she used to paint and then realized while she was sharing that it was actually “forty years ago” that she used to really enjoy this. These folks will look at my work and long for the creative side of themselves.  They’ll realize that this side has remained untapped and unexplored, and often since childhood. I can relate.  I didn’t paint or draw a single thing for over seven years not too long after graduating from art school.  But creativity was still within me.  My creativity never left, and that energy longed for expression. It’s healthy to create.   We are creative beings. I need to pay the rent and all of the other of life’s expenses so commerce is involved in my work.  And I happen to find marketing just as creative a pursuit as painting.  This has to do with an early marketing success in my life. My point is, if you just have some urge to paint, to sculpt, or to dance.  Do it! Don’t let forty years go by. You’ll live a happier and more content life.
Wine, Conversation, and Memories at the Calistoga Ranch
calistoga_01_bigCalistoga Ranch graciously invited me to show my oil paintings last evening during their Friday evening wine tasting.  And I had the pleasure to mix and mingle with the staff and their guests. The first guest I met was Ron Kuhn, the proprietor of Pillar Rock Vineyard.  Ron is a dapper gentleman from Chicago with a handsome mane of white hair that matched his beautiful wife Teri’s shoulder length white hair.  The first thing Ron did was hand me a generous glass of the Pillar Rock Cabernet Sauvignon.  I swirled and sipped it, and I meant it when I said to Ron, “this wine makes me tingle.” It was supple, balanced, and full of complex flavors that my friend Christopher Sawyer, a Sommelier, wine critic and writer, does a much better job of describing than I. I also met an urologist and his new bride visiting from Austin who were visiting his sister, a San Francisco jewelry designer.  We chatted about color and aesthetics. Then I met a venture capitalist and his wife. By way of mentioning Thomas Kinkade, the “Painter of Light”, who is now filing for bankruptcy, we made our way to a conversation about integrity and ethics in business.  I suggested that this was the simple source of “Painter of Light" troubles.  This was on this guest's mind because he was dealing with an unscrupulous former business partner.  So I recommended my brother’s book, translated into several languages, “Integrity is a Growth Market”.  Even if you don’t buy the book, it would be great if everyone in business just remembered the title. And I met a mother of two who was reluctantly turning 40.  Her husband surprised her with a lavish trip to Napa from Baltimore.  I encouraged her to celebrate and appreciate all of the gifts that she has, and to consider the alternative to having a birthday. I meet interesting, intelligent, gracious people at events, and Calistoga Ranch is again no exception.  The people I mentioned above were just a few lovely folks I met last night.   Our paths may never cross again but we shared some wine, conversation, and maybe a memory.