Sitting down to write this
newsletter has become an annual work of love for me, so I am using
excerpts from it for this month’s "What’s New" page. It
makes me pause and review the many wonderful things that have happened
to me over the past year; the unexpected doors that have opened, the
beautiful creatures to inspire me, and the special people who have
walked into my life. Thank you for being an important part of that
As this passion of mine carries me
onward, it has a momentum and life of its own. I sometimes feel like a
spectator in the growth and acceptance of my work ….it almost leaves
me breathless. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
For most of us the year began with
an element of uncertainty following the tragedy of 9-11. The world of
art was no exception. Committed to my life’s work, there was no
question that I would continue creating and trust there would be an
opportunity to share the beauty. The year 2002 was excellent. For the
most part, all shows maintained or grew beyond expectations. Several new
venues were added, including the American Zoological Assoc. of Docents
Conference, the Woodlands Art Fest near Houston, TX, and the Denver
Indian and Southwest Art Market further widened my horizons The dramatic
increase in the movement of prints to Galleries has also been exciting,
as has been our ability to assist many of you with donations for your
The year also had its share of
unexpected recognition. It was a surprise when the Texas Longhorn
Breeders Association called to ask me if they could use one of my
Longhorn pieces, "Sagebrush Babes", for the cover of their
annual cows and calves issue. I understand that cover has now been
submitted for the national cover competition for specialty magazines. I
was later flattered to have InformArt magazine publish a feature
article on me in their summer issue.
In my final show of the year at
the Woodlands Art Fest, I came home with a ribbon and award for,
"Sentimental Journey" (my gentle grizzly). And for those of
you familiar with the magazine, Woman’s Viewpoint, debuting in
January 2003, I will be one of the eight women spotlighted in their
inaugural edition. It will make a grand finale to a great year.
For those of you interested in
adding a small Sherry Steele original to your collection, I have
initiated a series of originals done on scratchboard. This medium allows
me to work more quickly as I explore interesting new subjects. I plan to
have two of these 9" x 12" originals at each show during 2003.
I hope you like them.
When the schedule wasn’t filled
with shows we were frequently on the road absorbing new sights and
seeking new adventures. My sketchbook was constantly open to record the
impressions I encountered. As I turn the pages the sketches leap out at
me begging to be turned into complete works of art.
Over the summer our travels took
us from the Colorado Rockies to San Miguel de Allende in Old Mexico. In
June I earned my spurs on the Ranchin’ Rosie Classic (an all-girl
Longhorn round-up) on the Durnal Ranch in Nebraska. It was a celebration
of Longhorns and the women who helped build the West. In the shadow of
legendary Chimney Rock, we moved the herd across Billy Goat Pass to
summer pasture. Among the 65 women riding with us were members of the
Cowgirl Hall of Fame, poets, singers, NYC chefs and National Rodeo
Champions. It truly was a privilege to be among this extraordinary group
of women. And no……I didn’t fall off my horse!
In February my eyes can at long
last turn back to Africa. The planning is complete for the group of
artists, sculptors and collectors accompanying me on this safari to my
favorite places in Tanzania. I have tailored the safari to suit artist
and non-artist alike for the ultimate viewing experiences. We will
alternate between beautiful lodges and luxury mobile tented bush camps,
which will place us in the very midst of the wildlife. Starting with
Arusha National Park, we will journey to Lake Manyara, the Tarangire,
the Grumeti River Gorge, the Serengeti, and the Olduvai Gorge. The trip
finally culminates at Africa’s greatest wildlife gem, the Ngorongora
None of the current group has
previously been to Africa and I am excited about sharing this
life-changing experience with them. I can already imagine the way it
will fill their albums with great pictures, their journals with
sketches, and their minds with unforgettable images.
If you are interested, but were
unable to join me on this safari, please watch for the announcement of a
similar safari in 2005.
Our world has changed in many
ways, but so have our opportunities to make it a better place. With
renewed appreciation for those precious to us, we can take it one step
further by extending thoughtful actions to everyone we encounter. Every
day each of us can and must make a difference.
May this Holiday Season and the
year to come be filled with the warmth of being surrounded by loved ones
and the Beauty of a Joyful Spirit.