year in review

2018 Year in Review

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Much can happen in one year…shows, growth, disappointments, and more. I’d like to reflect on this past year, celebrating all the positive things that transpired, and learning from setbacks.

In January, I began my first ever series — “Contain & Release.” It was a series of six paintings that focused on the containment and release of emotions, with each having at least one container of some sort. I ended up keeping just four in the series and dropping two of them. This was my favorite of the four. I felt as though this series provided some breakthroughs in my technique, mostly in the way I create abstract art. I realized through these paintings the importance of painting in series and plan to work this way more often in the future.

Contain & Release III, 24 X 30, 2018

Also in January, I decided to start using the name Rain for art purposes, and later around the month of May I chose D’Lay as my last name. By the time November came around, I had learned the hard way that it creates confusion having an artist name separate from your real name, so I decided to transition back to using my real name. Just a few months before my name change back, this beautiful butterfly appeared outside my studio. It was a gentle reminder to always be open to change.

And finally in January, I attended my first long pose figure painting/drawing session at Gamut Gallery. Below is the painting I created that day. It was challenging as I normally don’t paint figures, yet it was so enjoyable as well.


Stac Art Gallery

At the beginning of summer, I had several pieces on display in StaC Art Gallery, where I also sold my favorite piece of the year. Despite its small size of 10×10 inches, it’s a powerhouse of color and composition. My favorite piece — “Rings of Fire” — below.

Rings of Fire, 10 X 10, 2018

Last year I had an idea to start an art co-op with art created by individuals with mental health issues. After a group formed, we secured space at Zion Center for Spiritual Development & Healing. Below are a couple photos from the opening reception, including a photo of me with Cynthia Watson, a dear friend and art mentor.



Below are some of my favorite brushes and a note from my daughter that she wrote on my studio wall. What a nice surprise! ❤ Also shown is my favorite color – turquoise!


Funk in the City was a juried show for the first time and I was honored to be a part of it this year. This left picture was before I set up my booth with all my art and supplies in the car, and on the right is my booth in the September event. Unfortunately, it rained nearly the entire day so it wasn’t as busy as it would have been normally. It was quite a chore trying to keep my paintings dry, but since they are acrylic, the water didn’t hurt them anyway. The rain was more annoying than anything else.


I was glad to participate in my first YART show in October. I had a small setup at that event in which I took mostly smaller pieces. YART is a unique show where everything is priced $50 or below. BRRRRR – it was cold that day, but a good day nonetheless!


The Art Hop took place in September in downtown Henderson businesses where artists had little pop up galleries. My pop up gallery was located in the office of Kevin A. Francke, Attorney at Law. This was my first time participating in this show as well.


I participated in three nonprofit events this year: 1) Peace Zone Art of Recovery, 2) You Matter Suicide Prevention and Awareness Art Show, and 3) Mental Health America of Vanderburgh County’s symposium silent auction. Below is a picture of me with “Tears I Cry” at the You Matter Show at 22 Jefferson Gallery.



In November I participated in the Winter Festival at the Evansville Museum — my last and final show of the year!

I did apply to two juried exhibits this year, but didn’t get selected for either. I will try again next year! I’m sure that’s just the beginning of many rejections but I’m ready to tackle this journey. In the art world, you must have tough skin to be successful because oftentimes you are faced with many rejections.

I am looking forward to 2019 as I plan to enter some national juried exhibits, get established with an online gallery, and further develop my techniques and style. This year it seemed I was focused on both nonrepresentational abstract pieces and florals and I am pleased with the progress I made.


MeWorkingInStudioPainting in My Studio