Sheila does Gabriola Saturday morning market.

Sheila does Gabriola Saturday morning market.

The dastardly economic downturn really hit its stride as the year 2009 rolled out and – as one would expect – it put a stop to the art market’s gallop. This is unless of course, you were a dead white male, a group which remains pretty much bullet-proof. Gallery sales sagged like an old brassiere, and there was much talk of gloom and doom. My long-time gallery in Vancouver closed up shop altogether.

Since I am neither male nor dead (especially not dead), I knew I’d have to come up with a plan to save myself. So I did what resourceful girls have been doing since before the Dead Sea was even sick – I diversified. I produced events in other locations, started a new annual studio event in honour of St. Valentines (HEARTSPEAK), became a vendor at Gabriola’s summer Saturday morning market (see above photo), and stepped up my efforts to reach patrons through my website.

In the spirit of one door closing whilst another one opens, the slow-down afforded me more time to do other things beside paint. So I seized the opportunity and completely re-vamped my Charm Beauty and Poise show, presenting it four times in three different cities. I developed an entirely new show called “I never met a blank canvas I didn’t like” all about the creative process, and introduced it to three separate, sold-out audiences.

You could say 2009 was the year I slept around, but that would be in impossibly poor taste. A better way to put it would be that 2009 turned out to be one of the most vibrant and varied years of my career. I had many fingers in many pies, and they were all sweet.

Turns out this pony has more than one trick.