Saturday, March 31, 2012

A day with Oprah LifeClass Tour!

I felt it. So many of the people who know me were so hoping (praying) that my first chance encounter with Oprah Winfrey would be something like the image I Photoshopped above hahaha!   This is the reason why I kept quiet about my trip with hubby to St. Louis, Missouri for the taping of Oprah's 2nd season/3rd episode of LifeClass Tour.

Honestly deep inside I was wishing same.  Because I had never won anything like this.  I received an email from OWN saying they were raffling tickets to LifeClass taping in St. Louis and all I had to do was respond to the email.  Lo and behold, email arrived the next day and tickets were being held for me!  I was wishing deep inside that maybe, hopefully it was a set up?

The timing was good.  My husband Scott and I were celebrating our 12th year anniversary.  And that same week Gallery Square sold my biggest painting I've ever painted so this took care of the financial crunch to afford the trip since it was unexpected!  May I take a moment to just say WOOHOO YAY for those two big celebrations? WOOHOO YAY!!! :D

After traveling for over 5 hours we stopped at the venue, the Peabody Opera House (St. Louis, MO), I was instructed to pick up the tickets day before the taping.  It had to be done in person with ID.  As I was getting out of the van, Oprah also stepped out to go to the building and was mulled by fans and cameras.  I missed her :(  We checked in our hotel.  I wanted a place closest to the opera house so as to avoid as much issues the next day.

Scott's best friend he hadn't seen for 20 yrs happened to be in the area with his parents!!!  They met us at our hotel.  We had such a grand time time.  It's always a pleasure and so easy to have quality time with good people!  I really enjoyed meeting them and it was fun watching two grown up men turn back into grade school kids right before my eyes :D

 We showed up at the Peabody 1.5 hours earlier than I was instructed.  A few things must have changed between their email and actual taping.  So it was good we showed up early.  We were ushered to the wheelchair section, not bad seats in the ninth row.  After the other chairs came in, I realized immediately how boxed in we were.  I knew I wouldn't get a chance to get refreshments in the lobby or use the restroom until the taping was over.  The theater didn't fill up until 20 minutes before taping.  Scott and I kept ourselves amused by taking pictures of each other and the stage.

 When Oprah finally walked on the stage this is what I saw.  This is what I usually see whenever something important is happening.  I bet if Oprah were aware of this she too would be disappointed.  I think Ellen puts the people in wheelchair in the front row and she even dances with them.

 I think the pic was when a celebrity walked in.  

Here's my sweet husband who was such a good sport about taking me to see Oprah.  This whole thing was short notice.  He had to do a lot of work in order to take Monday off from work and other commitments.  Then he had to show up for work Tuesday morning.  Too bad we didn't get to meet Oprah or even dialogue with her from the audience.  The people in front and center had more access to her.  I would so have loved to at least make eye contact with someone who had positively pierced my thoughts so much through the years but I only saw her on TV.

When I was picking up my tickets, I asked one of the theater people if I'd get a chance to meet her the next day.  He responded, "I don't think so.  Just because she's on stage it doesn't mean she will have time.  Everybody wants a piece of her when they see her you know," he says with a smile.  *On a side note, I have a new favorite phrase - Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!  A piece of her?

Here we are about an hour sitting while we waited for the taping to begin.

The class guest was Bishop TD Jakes. I think I would have had a more profound learning opportunity if the segment had mainly focused on his teaching rather than accommodating too many elements like the skypers and the lady from audience Keesha.  The subject was a purposeful life.

Jimmy Graham of New Orleans Saints was there.  His story was amazing.  It would seem to me that at a young age he sat in his destiny's driver seat.  

We arrived at the venue a little over 11AM.  Unlike California, the meters were not free for people with disabled license plates.  The meter would only take 2hrs max.  We knew we were taking our chance.  I took this photo at 4:21PM.  Those lined up at folks arriving for the live taping being shown that evening March 26.  By the way, thankfully, we didn't get a parking ticket!!!!

We had a nice late lunch at a Nadoz deli across the university before we headed back to Arkansas. 

It was something different we did - to be in the taping.  To see how Oprah's show is filmed.  In the future Scott and I will look back and confirm we had fun.  No doubt I am disappointed I didn't get to meet her.  Nobody told me I was going to however.  I think I would have been more disappointed if we hadn't taken advantage of the sudden opportunity.  It's never convenient to do something different when you're always busy.  Oprah's network is struggling I wish her well.

When taping ended and cameras were off, Oprah came back out and expressed her gratitude for our attendance.  She said, "I know you came from many far places and you were excited about coming to a taping and put on your bright clothes and got your hair done..  But I also know you came in my honor and to support me, and for that I am very grateful, thank you..." (not verbatim).

The taping will air April 9 on OWN
Oprah's LifeClass Tour, St. Louis, Missouri

Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Mural Project Pieces

"Supersized Sunny Greeting" 32"x36" acrylics on wood
I agreed to be a part of this project with Wishing Spring Gallery (one of three galleries carrying my work), partly because I felt I would be needing a swift kick in the gumption so I can get my art going this year.  Thank God I knew where my acrylic paints are and a couple decent brushes.  If I had to paint in oils I wouldn't know where or how to find all my things and I certainly cannot afford to be buying more.  I wasn't expecting my "murals" to be due until end of April but they notified me I had to get them done by April. ACK!

So I hunkered down and decided I'd get them done this week.  I think I learned something about myself in this process because of the two pieces done quickly in a week.  Apparently, I have to stare at a blank surface for a day and anguish over what, who, how to paint.  I go to bed very stressed and disappointed about not committing to anything!  I tend to love to paint MANY things and can express them in various ways I've studied so it's not easy.  I'm a true lover of art and their processes.

Finally about halfway through the second day, the brush hits the surface.  As you can see here, I'm still thinking.  But at least I'm thinking with evidence now.  I read on Facebook, "Dwell in possibility"~Emily Dickinson.  Indeed I do.  I am a firm believer that what's immediately available is not necessarily the best thing.  Or the first, second or third things are not necessarily enough.  When I play Scrabble, I don't celebrate when I play all my tiles and get extra 50 points.  When I play regularly I average getting Scrabble about 3 times.  My game is feeling like I can see the other side of what I thought was the complete scenario.  I like discovering new worlds and getting intimate with them.
Photo by Scott A. Nelson
My husband took this photo this morning.  It's Saturday and he was fast asleep.  So I got up early anyway because I wanted to finish my painting today.  That's the reason why I'm still in my nightgown, I didn't want to wake him up.  But hours later he got up and snapped this photo hahaha  Well that's my story and I'm sticking with it!
"Resource Light and Life" 32"x36" acrylics on wood
Ahhhh so they're both done now and I'm so happy!  I feel I played with Vinny (Van Gogh) and Pabs (Picasso)!  I did channel them to play with me as I do when I feel I need a little more help. For instance when I feel I could use more confidence in a situation, I channel Madonna who I imagine would walk into any room with no apologies for being herself.  I thank Vinny for his sense of playfulness with texture and colors.  I thank Pabs for simplifying complicated passages and making the process a lot more like play than work!  I wish I could adopt the playful feeling in all my art processes.  I tend to over think in my representational work.  So though I am doing what I love, I can't quite say "I've never worked."  Is that bad? 

I hope these contemporary pieces will prove to be good contributions to the gallery.