Updated: Jun 28, 2019
Paint my Meditation is constantly on the lookout for great talent. When we ran across, Anitra Simmons work, it caught our eye as fresh and different. There is just something about certain work that is able to draw you in and establish a connection with the viewer. This ability is rare. And creative insight like this sparks, unfortunately, after much suffering. Anitra mentioned her blog in passing during our consultation call without any detail. Something about her work made me curious. And my insight on her work was correct. After reading Anitra's blog, it hit me.
Anitra had suffered the loss of her beloved husband and daughter.
She was a widow and had suffered the most unimaginable pain I can not bear to even think about. I have not encountered this pain in my own personal life, but I know it to be my worst fear. I related to it - but yet could not imagine it. Refused to. Pushed it away, yet knew she could not.
Sometimes with all the headaches you have in a business, you realize one good thing.. Immediately, I made the executive decision to sponsor Anitra for the upcoming exhibition. We don't have established sponsorships for widows. We had a running one at the time for Autistic and Neurodiverse artists. But what is one more sponsorship?
I did not waste a second of my time, I picked up the phone and left her a message about the good news. Then I followed up via email. I just wrote this:
Read through your blog. We would like to sponsor you for this event. Which means it is on us. :-) So if you are interested in exhibiting. Don't worry about the cost.
Simply let me know if you will be exhibiting and I'll provide you with all the next steps needed!
I'm so glad she decided to attend the exhibition. My intuition proved correct. Anitra was a success at her first exhibit! Anitra managed to sell several of her paintings at Seattle Des Independants Avant Garde Exhibition at Gallery Mack!
What is her secret? Anitra shares some tips!
Are you a self taught artist?
I am a self taught artist. I think the best advice I can give is to just draw everyday. The more time you can spend drawing, sketching or painting will improve your skill. Art comes from the heart and should bring joy. If you can focus on your joy, the abilities will come.
Why art? Why writing?
My desire to be a writer and artist exploded out of me because of my traumatic experiences. They are artistic expressions of my inner pain, my journey, my joy and my hope. Motivation comes from finding happiness and peace when I am able to express myself creatively. I find it calms my mind and soul to write and draw. The best advice I can offer to others experiencing similar loss is to do what makes you happy. Let go of the surrounding dramas of life and find and do what gives you joyfulness every day.
What was it like working with Paint my Meditation?
Working with Paint my Meditation was wonderful. So easy and fun, Rivkah took away any stress I might have had in displaying my art before I think I really felt ready. I would absolutely recommend working with Paint My Meditation again because it was such a fun experience. Thank you again for inviting me to your exhibition. It was a dream come true for me to experience having my art in a gallery.
What advice would you give other new artists considering exhibiting for the first time?
To other artists exhibiting for the first time? Just breath, let go and enjoy the event. Art is subjective and there will always be someone who finds beauty in what you do.
What is your daily life as an artist?
Daily, I eat a simple breakfast, workout and then I start a new art project. Currently I am taking online classes on sketching people. I will always draw or paint something each day, then take a break for a late lunch. In the afternoon, I will go somewhere and sketch an new scene I have not tried before and come back to watercolor it in. Later in the evening I will write a new excerpt for the new website I am creating called Rethinkdeath.com. I am working on de-stigmatizing death globally. My site will offer emotional healing, spiritual awakening and tools to manage grief and/or end of life. My day is filled with creative expression and that is what gives me my joy.
You can also find Anitra's book online "Embracing Life from Death" .
If you missed Anitra at the last exhibition, her work is available directly on our online shop here: https://www.paintmymeditation.com/anitra-simmons