Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Thank you, Shelby

"Thank you, Shelby"
10 x 10, oil on linen

Shelby is the gallery owner of Shelby Lee Gallery in Charleston, SC.  In March 2010, Shelby invited me to be in her new gallery.  I was ecstatic.  I had only been painting in oils for about a year, and it had always been a dream of mine to be in a gallery.  And in Charleston???  You've got to be kidding me.  I was pinching myself.

Shelby took me in as a "no-namer."  She simply loved my work, and that was enough for her.  I must admit I really doubted myself as a professional artist.  I remember the first time she called me and told me she had sold one of my paintings.  The next day, she sold two more.  If you're an artist, you know the feeling when you find out that someone loves your work enough to actually pay for it and want it hanging in their home.  Shelby helped me to believe in myself, because she believed in me.  On my second trip to Charleston to deliver more paintings, she had collectors waiting on me when I got there, and three paintings were sold as I was unpacking!  Within the first year, she sold over 40 of my paintings.

Above and beyond that, Shelby has become a friend of mine.  She even invited me to stay at her home on my visits to Charleston, which saved me a lot of money.  She also introduced me to the best bagels EVER.  And as a gift, she gave me one of her handcrafted pendants that reads the Van Gogh quote on my blog, "I dream of painting, and then I paint my dream."  I get compliments on it all the time :)

Sadly, I am no longer represented by Shelby Lee Gallery.  The gallery has joined with Studio 151 Fine Arts and has become a co-op of some wonderful local artists, and with me being about nine hours away from Charleston, I'm not able to do my part in the gallery.

I painted this painting as a gift for my friend Shelby.  It's a painting of two things that I know she loves... her precious teacup yorkie, "Lola," and gerber daisies.  I hope she likes it, and I hope my heartfelt appreciation shows through in the painting.

Thank you, Shelby.  Thanks for your friendship and thanks for believing in me.

Me, Shelby & Lola :)


  1. This is a wonderful and inspiring story! Love the painting, too.

  2. A wonderful painting, how lucky you are to have made the connection to such a true friend. They are hard to find.

  3. Your feelings do come through in the painting which are bright and sunny like your personality! To make friends on this journey as an artist ,especially someone who has taken you so far on your career path is truly a blessing.

  4. What a wonderful association with the gallery, Gina. I think it was an invaluable experience - such a personal and successful one. And there will be another gallery to come along that will represent your work as wonderfully - I know there will. In the meantime, keep on painting your beautiful, heartfelt paintings. Only good things can come of that!