Where did it begin… where did this idea first come from? Somehow we have gone from kicking around thoughts of being able to market a friend’s artwork to opening up an art studio/gallery of our own. What the heck were we thinking? What crazy, messed up set of circumstances made us even imagine we could pull this off? Maybe if I talk it out from the beginning, I will be able to see the path from where we started to where we are now.
Some of it has to do with Julie. John (my husband) met her when he was working as a Project Manager for a major renovation at the Ontario Science Centre in 2003. Julie is very smart and is in fact a biologist. She also has a great passion for Africa and has made many trips there armed with her camera. When she returns to Canada with her hundreds of photographs, she chooses her favourite wildlife shots (or sometimes a combination of several) and paints them in watercolour. (It is truly annoying when the smart people also get the artistic talents. Sadly I am artistically challenged and definitely not a scientist, so it just seems unfair.) Sorry, caught me whining. Anyway, we have purchased several of her paintings and knowing that she is too busy being a scientist to properly market her artwork, wanted to try and help her out in this department. We first looked into galleries in the area and even investigated purchasing an existing store in our hometown that happened to be on the market. We found the financial information they provided to be troubling and took a pass on buying the business. Shortly thereafter, that store went out of business, leaving another artist friend of ours unpaid and struggling to retrieve her unsold product. This episode left us a little uncomfortable with putting Julie’s artwork into someone else’s hands so the entire idea went on the back burner. Clearly several other events would have to occur before things would begin to fall into place.