Standing in my San Francisco Pacific beach art studio with my patron and her painting draped behind black velvet, I could feel her anticipation. I unveiled the large canvas and she stood silent. I wondered. “Uh oh. Does she like it?” So I had to ask, “So, what do you think?” She paused, her eyes then welling with tears, she said, “I love it. I love it so so much.” Which to my delight, she repeated several more times. She also said, “I’m so glad that we had a private unveiling. I don’t understand why I am so emotional.” But I knew why. This is the power of art. I crafted this series of the Russian River in Healdsburg, California, with the full intention of celebrating a place that holds her dearest family memories. She has many memories that have floated down this ever changing Russian River and I wanted to capture the essence of this in her oil painting. When something is made by hand it feels different. It carries the artist’s energy and personal attention, that is what ignites a response in the viewer. One who pauses long enough to look, to really look. Because there is only one original she has ordered several copies of the Creative Diary to share with her family and friends. My hope is that this storybook will rekindle their memories and deepen their appreciation for this very special place. The river is symbolic for our ever-changing lives and it reflects the seasons with color. When I witness a patron’s deep emotional response from an Experience of Art, I receive the ultimate reward for the hard work I dedicate to making art. And it makes the sacrifices all worth it.