Wednesday, April 16, 2014


For the third year in a row, I was invited to exhibit my wildflowers at Artexpo in New York City.

As one of the largest art shows in the US, with artists and galleries from around the world, I was honored to be included. The show was held on Pier 94 on April 4-6, 2014.

While my husband David and I have visited NYC several times now, for this and other shows, there was something new this time. We decided to pack our Transit and drive rather than ship the art and fly in for the show. In the end, we drove some 3939 miles! We were a bit nervous about driving into Manhattan but with lots of pre-planning and a little luck, we did just fine. Or should I say, David did fine since he was behind the wheel!
But first, we had to get there.

Blossoms in Tennessee.
We left for the trip several days early to give us time for the long drive. Along the way we enjoyed seeing wildflowers along the roadsides throughout the South, though it was still a bit early in the season. As we turned northward heading through Alabama and into Tennessee, it began to look more and more like winter, with bare trees and brown fields. However, several varieties of flowering trees, such as fruit trees, redbuds and dogwoods, were starting to bloom and made the trip really enjoyable.
Snow in the Blue Ridge Mtns!

As we made our way into Virginia, we decided to enjoy the off season and take Skyline Drive, which runs north and south along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park for 105 miles. We pretty much had the road to ourselves. The views were breathtaking and we even saw some snow along the way! As far as the weather, our timing was good as we were just ahead or had just missed storms through the regions were were traveling.
A view of Shenandoah Valley from Skyline Drive.

After being on the road for four days and nights, we drove across the George Washington bridge on Wednesday, paid our toll and made our way into The City.

While we were booking rooms for nightly stays along the way, we had made arrangements for our NYC accommodations weeks in advance through AirBnB. We were able to rent an apartment for the week, which we were sharing with some of my family members who were flying in to see my work at Artexpo and a vacation. With a total of 5 of us, it was nice to have a place with a kitchen and sitting area rather than staying in separate hotel rooms.

After we checked in at the apartment, we made our way to the show site where we were able to unload and start preparing for set up the next day. Plus we were able to park the Transit on the next pier over where it stayed until we were ready to leave, which was our plan from the start since the apartment was within walking distance.

Crowds enjoy art at Artexpo NYC.
We hit the ground running every morning for the next few days, with set up on Thursday and the show hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Over the course of the event, we met hundreds of visitors and talked with dozens of galleries, returning home with several solid leads for future representation and other opportunities.

Visiting with David Bromstad.
In the mix of the amazing artists at this year's expo was one face familiar to fans of HGTV. David Bromstad, host of Color Splash, was a featured speaker at one of the seminars and was available to chat with visitors on Saturday. I've seen him on TV a few times but I must say that, in person, he is as nice as he is good looking. It was a pleasure to meet him and to get to share our mutual love of flowers!

All too soon the show came to an end on Sunday night and it was time to pack up and load out. As we put the last load in the Transit, the sun was setting over Manhattan, giving a perfect ending to another wonderful experience.

Sunset over Manhattan.
We stayed one last night and left Manhattan on Monday, driving back over the GW bridge into New Jersey and on to Pennsylvania.

This time, however, we were driving right into some rain storms and decided to stop over in Bethlehem for the evening. What we didn't know is that we were in for a treat!

Bethlehem, PA in the rain.
We stayed at the Sands, a casino hotel, in a room overlooking the town, which was build on a hillside.

The Sands is a huge complex using buildings and land of the old Bethlehem Steel Company. Since we were also celebrating our wedding anniversary, we decided to stay over an extra day and explore the area a bit before hitting the road for home. The town is very quaint and the buildings and streets are filled with a sense of history and pride. It is a very special place and I hope that we can make it back again some day.

Wildflowers in Mississippi.
It was time to head home so for the next few days we made a straight shot down through the Delta Blues, into Louisiana and westward, into Texas. It was amazing how much greener everything was than when we came through on our way up. In Alabama, the wisteria were blooming like crazy, as were the redbud trees. Each area has its own version of wildflowers along the roadsides. Some of the nicest were in Mississippi but the flowers in Louisiana were pretty impressive, too.

Even so, I have to say that the most appealing patches were the ones along I-10 once we were on the west side of Houston. I know I have to watch my "Texas Pride," but we do have beautiful wildflowers in Texas. That's where I've drawn my inspiration from the beginning and continue to do so. As always, thanks for reading and for letting me share the highlights of this journey with you.

Artexpo NYC 2014.