Friday, April 19, 2013


In past relationships my art has been a hinder and a sore subject. My need to stay up late, or my constant sketching or working has been a problem. Running an art business, or a business of any type takes a lot of work, time and energy.
I told Sterling as we were going into our first months of dating, "I work a lot... it might be a problem. It might make you hate me. It's happened before.."
His response was, "I fell in love with you because of your art."

And since then he has been the greatest support system I've ever had.
I'm used to shrugging off my little victories, or mentioning them casually to friends or family.
Knowing that I was my own greatest supporter. So, why bother trying to get anyone else excited?
We are all too busy with our own victories.

But my sweet Sterling has taken my victories as his as well.

There have been depressing times when I would say, "Maybe I should just quit." and hang my head down low.
He response, "Over my dead body."

Or there are times I say, "I've got to run to the post office to ship a print." Or, "I need to get supplies for an order that just came in." Almost dreading the response I was used to.
Sterling gets so excited for me, he addresses the recipient by name, stares intently at the package and says, "We love you.. Tell your friends about us." Then gently slips it into the box.
I was not used to the "we" and the "us".  But, I liked it.

Today we got all my paintings ready to be put up in the Timeless Image Tattoo & Art Gallery in Provo.
We had about 25 ready to be hung up, but went back to check for more. I found a few small ones and asked Sterling if he thought I should put them up. His eyes got wide and said, "Where have these been?!"
We spent about 20 minutes going through my old art that had been stashed away. From when I first opened my shop. Paintings that my ex said were no good. Paintings that I was told I should stop doing..
Sterling had a pile and kept telling me how fantastic they were, asking if I had more "gold" hidden in the house.
I'm not entirely sure I even believe his words. But since he is a long time follower of this blog, he is probably reading this. I must say, my doubt is not in him. It's in me. After being unsupported for so long, having support is actually scary. After hearing, "Don't paint stuff like that anymore.." Or " No one is going to buy that.." the words, "That is amazing! That's going to sell so fast!" are uneasy to hear.

But, Sterling is actually proud of me and he tells me so every day. He encourages me and helps me.
Something I've never had.

Tonight we labeled, arranged and hung around 45 paintings. It took hours. We went and got take out, and sat down at the kitchen table. We discussed writing a book together. And how we make good business partners.
We are a we. And I finally feel safe in doing the art that I love.

At this point I'm just gushing.. but I really am just so thankful to have support. And from someone I love and admire so much.
I'm still learning how to accept it. 


  1. Oh, that photo of you two and the paintings is amazing!! Profile photo, for sure.

    As an artist, I know what you mean by...well, this entire post, really. I'm pretty much on my own. While my family/hubs would never tell me my art stinks and I should quit, they certainly don't celebrate any of my accomplishments with me. Just not interested at all in what I do. <3

    So lucky you have Sterling!

  2. we are so happy that you havefound someone that supports you and loves you. it is a great blessing to have that in a relationship and I don't know how I would make it thorough life if Eric didn't support me.

  3. Lovely post, Rachael! As a writer, I was only too familiar with the lack of support you described having felt for so long. When I'm on a writing "binge" the whole world around me may as well have gone up in smoke! I get completely absorbed in what I'm doing. Over the years, attending a critique group has been such a great thing because we pow-wow about what we're writing and just share in the excitement of creativity together. It's hard, I think, for some people to understand. It's lovely that you've found such a great support- I've always felt that if someone is interested in ME, they would be interested in my writing because it's a huge, integral part of who I am. He fell in love with you because you ARE your art, and he sees that. :) So awesome! I hope to find that someday.

  4. So sweet :) I know what you mean about not bothering others with your victories; it's something I struggle with as well.

    Sidenote: I love how you've arranged your paintings subtly by color! They look amazing lined up all together.

  5. That's what makes a great relationship work! Past boyfriends (and even some close friends) never supported anything I did, because they didn't realize that those things were what made me tick. But my husband is the MOST supportive person I have ever known! He is always encouraging me to expand my hobbies and talents and I am always pushing him to expand his. Because we both know that those things make us happy. I have become a much more confident person because of him, and I know you will too with Sterling! Also, congrats on the gallery show! It looks great!

  6. <3 Such a great post and so proud of you!!! Jen is my biggest supporter as well. No one else gets me, or supports me, like she does. :D Your paintings are gorgeous, they all are. I have always absolutely loved your work. I am glad that you love your work, Sterling does and that through his eyes, you can see a new found love for your work as well.

  7. Such a wonderful post! I really related to this, having had so much trouble with exes understanding all of the work that goes into art--and then finally finding that one special guy who understood! It makes all the difference in the world, to have support and love for what you love! You two are so beautiful together, thank you for sharing your stories with us :)

  8. Your work is lovely and inspiring. You're inspiring.

  9. I am so glad that you finally have someone in your life who supports you instead of doubting you. And your paintings are amazing; don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

  10. How lovely! I am so happy for you both

  11. I can tell just from what you have been writing here recently that you have come leaps and bounds in becoming happier and more confident in yourself! I am so happy for you :)
    Sterling seems like such an awesome guy - its so wonderful when you finally find that one person who supports you and takes you as you are, the bad and the good, and doesn't judge you for it (I think I may have recently found one like that myself!). You are very lucky to have found Sterling - love like the two of you have is a once-in-a-lifetime kinda thing - keep hold of him - he seems like pure "gold" himself! :)


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