It was a year ago today, that I left to exhibit in New York. I had prearranged framing and so with all my paintings in one precious roll, I followed a dream and headed off.  Along for the ride came three friends, two hailing from my teenage years, and I was grateful for their support, practical and otherwise (stealing their luggage allowance) during the trip.

You can never exactly anticipate what a new experience is going to teach you. I had many sleepless nights before I went, wondering how I would go missing my children for so long, how I would afford to pay for everything, and a million other things that went through my mind in the quiet of the night. I had moments where I just wished I wasn’t so driven and that I could just forget about it all and stick to more easily achieved goals. I was encouraged by people close to me and by my husband who in his calm way reminded me it would be alright.

So I went, and my brain was expanded, my confidence was rewarded. I saw so much art and it just great to see myself in the context of a much larger cultural environment. I felt small and unnoticed and like I could truly be an observer. The size of the city and the variety of everything, blew me away. Exhibiting was hard work, I felt worn out at times, telling my story and talking about my work for four days straight. But I felt a renewed sense of identity as an artist and as an Australian. I felt like I had so far to go with my work and was keen to start painting again as soon as I could.

I had quite a few further opportunities I could have pursued in New York, but, I felt that I had so much more to do on my home soil first and I felt like New York would always be there and would always hold more opportunities in the future. Hopefully sooner rather than later!!

Have you been to New York? What did you take home with you? What would you do differently next time? Nice questions I know!

Jasmine x

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