I survived my first two-day art show for Picture Birmingham. Here were the moments I won’t (or, in some cases, can’t no matter how hard I try) forget.

1. I got stuck in a ditch.



That’s my friend Radford, illustrating exactly how stuck I was. And no, I do not have four-wheel drive. And yes, it did make me late for my setup appointment.

I dropped the kids off at a friend’s house, and as I was backing out of their driveway, using my trusty backup camera as always, I discovered that they had a perilous and quite invisible trap awaiting any and all visitors who attempted to use the Evil Weapon of Reverse on their property.



Radford was able to find an assistant who pulled me out of the ditch in five seconds, clearly demonstrating that they’ve done this before. Because people with traps utilize them often.


2. Underdressed.

People watching is supreme at art shows. I spotted a girl in a t-shirt and panties (okay I suppose they were technically hot shorts but they were bright shiny spandex (with stars) and created a dreadful case of underbutt, side butt, and just butt butt.) Later, I saw another girl in huge baggy blue jeans and a bra.

Between the two of them, they had one quite wearable outfit.

3. Overdressed.

I saw a dude in a Grumpy Old Men winter hunter’s hat and another dude in a full length leather jacket. Between the two of them, they had the ability to cause death by overheating.

Grumpy Old Men

Meanwhile, I melted in my sleeveless shirt and shorts. Because that’s how I roll – fully dressed minus suffocation.

4. I will do anything for love…but I won’t do that.

One browser asked me, “Do you have this picture in black and white?”

It’s a…sunset.



…Later, Chris said, “But the customer is always right! You could have special ordered it in black and white…”


Black and White Sunset

A sunset in black and white is worse than a scented résumé in Comic Sans with a Curlz header.

5. Curses.

On Saturday morning, another artist came over to my booth.

“Hi! I thought I’d walk around and see the other booths before things got started. But of course I’m not going to BUY anything from you. I LIVE in Birmingham. Ha! WHY would I ever want a picture of it?”

She then went on to curse me. Literally.

“I’m putting the Artist’s Curse on your booth. Do you know what that is?”


“I’m cursing you to sell out. You see? It’s a blessing because you’ll sell out. But it’s a curse because you’ll have to make more.”

Well okay then. Everyone loves a good solid curse to start the day.

6. Finally finding the pot of gold.

I NEVER see rainbows. I’ve even gone out on rainbow chases, and let me tell you – they’re much harder than sunset chases.

But then, at the beginning of Artwalk, a beautiful, bold, double rainbow came right to me.


…and only brought twenty drops of rain with it. Totally worth it.

6. Meeting you.

So, so SO many of you came to see me. I really should have kept a list because I lost count of everyone who came by. AND I had so many Instagram notifications that they all rolled off before I got back to everyone to thank them, so please know I meant to but…it was kind of a hectic two days. I never left my booth for the entire eleven hours of Artwalk. But I enjoyed meeting every single one of you and I was so honored that you’d come visit me. Thank you all!


7. Freaking out someone else’s kid for a change.

Although I adore meeting blog readers, Ali and Noah are not always as excited. They’ve been known to be completely weirded out when a stranger references what they did last week.

I spotted my blog friend Katy and her family coming toward us, and greeted them by name.

Her oldest son looked at me, looked at his mom, and said suspiciously, “Uhhhhh….how does she know our last name?”

It was a beautiful moment.

My kids had just returned from the football game, so they were able to dispel any amount of creepishness that I had given off, and even crossed the Alabama/Auburn borders to do so.


8. Body Art.

The cousins came by to visit with their craft that they made at the Artwalk kids area. Fans that they decorated with…glue and glitter.


On a fan.

Like you know, a thing you wave back and forth in front of your face. And in front of your parent’s faces.

I’ve never seen my brother and sister-in-law so sparkly.

9. Serendipity.

It was the end of the second day, and Chris left to go get my car to start packing everything up. My very last visitors walked up – two women and a younger man. The ladies were thumbing through some prints, and I watched as the gentleman walked straight to one print, picked it up, looked at it closely, then showed it to the others.

They were all exclaiming their wows at some detail in the print, so I went over to see which picture it was.

It was my bamboo picture.

140719 Sunset Through the Bamboo

“What’s so interesting about the photo?”

”It’s my name. Right here. I carved it last year.”


Just one day before, I had told another visitor that I harbored a secret hope that one day one of the name-carvers would find my picture. (After all, I had worked hard to get those names and the sun in the same picture, as I can appreciate a name being left behind.) Then I quickly explained that I knew that was silly and it would never happen.

But it did.

And my day was made.

(And yes – he bought the print.)

It was a great weekend and I was able to raise a very good amount for The WellHouse. Thank you to all of you who came out to say hello!

15 thoughts on “The Moments of Artwalk.

  1. How cool that he found you and his name! The black and white made me laugh. Obviously it’s the difference of a nature vs. architecture because it did look pretty in black and white if you were focused on the city skyline. :) Oh and the curse was hilarious!

  2. I’m so glad you had such a great weekend! I so wanted to come by, but it just didn’t work out. Also, what does it say that none of what you described surprised me in the least? I think I’ve heard too many stories from my husband as he’s been a police officer in Birmingham for 22+ years.

  3. Oh my goodness, “worse than a scented résumé in Comic Sans with a Curlz header” is the best thing I’ve heard all week!! I love font speak! :-)

  4. i love the bamboo photo, and the story just makes it better! but I have to say, i completely disagree with you about the sunsets in black and white. While I LOVE sunset pictures in full color and such.. I have quite a few ive taken myself that look stunning in black and white- i love the simplicity of them and how they look so serene and almost like they are frozen in time. Hard to describe- it doesn’t work for every sunset, but everyonce in awhile it works.. and it works well! :) I will see if I can find some to show you!

  5. Rachel, I’m soooo glad I got to finally meet you! I’ve been ooohing and aaahing over your photos and laughing at your hilarious blog posts, I just HAD to find you and say hi. Keep up the awesome work!!!

  6. Maybe it’s an introvert thing, or a nosy person thing, but I LOVE a good people-watching opportunity. And it sounds like that was a great one!

  7. I started out to make a comment on each point, but got to the last one and was so wowed I couldn’t do it. Besides the fact that the bamboo picture is AH-mazing, how cool is it to actually find someone who belongs to one of the names? WOW!

  8. I was totally bummed that we didn’t get to go to Artwalk at all this year. THIS year, of all years, when you had a booth. Booo. So, thank you for writing about it, so I could pretend that I was there. I LOVE the last story about the bamboo picture. That is beyond cool and is indeed serendipitous!

  9. Artwalk was so fun and SO exhausting!!!! Sorry I didn’t get a chance to come see your booth, glad to hear you were so successful though! I saw those yahoos you mentioned above– Booty Shorts and Winter Hat. What were they thinking?! I kept hoping that Booty Shorts was involved in some sort of performance group… but I don’t know that she was.

    1. I was sad I didn’t get to see your booth, too! That’s the one bad thing about showing at Artwalk – I never left my booth the entire eleven hours! It was definitely exhausting.

      I hope Booty Shorts and Winter Hat ran into each other. I kinda want a picture of them together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *