Have no regrets


So here I am, across the pond in the good old US of A!

The hubster and I arrived in New York City on Monday and it’s been a lovely, and slightly crazy, few days.

We met up with friends, visited a few sites and then, oh, just wandered into the Howard Greenberg Gallery and bought ourselves a Vivian Maier print!

This beauty, to be more specific…

It’s not everyday that Stuart and I make the decision to purchase expensive art. But, in total honesty, the decision to buy this one was 2 years in the making.

I have been a massive fan of Vivian Maier’s work almost from the moment her intriguing story was first announced to the world. If you haven’t heard it before, in a nutshell, Vivian was a quiet, unassuming New York nanny who would go out regularly with her camera and capture countless images on film. She hardly ever developed her work and didn’t show it to anyone. Her work, along with some of her other belongings, wound up in storage and was eventually auctioned off. One of the purchasers was John Maloof, and when he discovered the undeveloped film and what it contained within, he set about trying to find the artist responsible and bringing these works into the public domain. Sadly, Vivian Maier died before she was discovered and so an air of mystery remains surrounding her work and her life. You can find out more by searching Vivian Maier on Google, you’ll even see lots of examples of her amazing work!

I digress… Something about her story and her beautiful images totally captured my heart. I went and viewed a small exhibit of her work in London shortly after first learning about her and I was hooked.

A couple of years ago, another exhibit was being shown in London and so, one afternoon whilst meeting up with a friend in the city, I dragged her and my husband along to catch the exhibition. As we walked around looking at the photographs, Stuart and I were immediately struck by the image above. Of course, it probably had a lot to do with us being cat-parents and cat lovers but we both decided, there and then, that we would love to own this gorgeous image.

The thing with art is… well, it costs. We enquired about purchasing the print and we both balked at the price. We considered it briefly but, after a short discussion, we decided against it and walked away from the gallery as fast as our feet could carry us.

And for the next two years we seriously regretted that decision.

Fast forward to early 2016 and Stuart quietly made a suggestion one day… if we were to head in to the Howard Greenberg Gallery on our next visit to New York City and if that print were to still be available, should we see that as a sign and purchase it?

So yes, there we were yesterday afternoon, walking along the busy 5th Avenue towards the gallery, just on the off-chance that our beloved print might be there. I didn’t dare to hope, preferring instead to expect the worst so that anything else would be a bonus. (Not as pessimistic as it sounds, I promise! It means I’m seldom disappointed and nearly always pleasantly surprised!)

We nervously walked into the building that housed the gallery and made our way up to the correct floor. We stepped into the gallery as complete novices, and it totally showed. I shyly asked if we could just look around while Stuart self-consciously tried to walk around.without making his shoes squeak.

But after a few minutes we summoned up the courage to ask about “our” print. After a quick conversation with the very lovely Cortney, who we showed a Google image to of the print in question, she went away to see if there was a print available on site.

Those few minutes were nerve-wracking, to say the least! But when she came back out, with the print in her hands, well, Stuart and I could not keep the excited grins off our faces. The grins remained, right through discussing the price (now almost double what it had been when we first saw the image 2 years ago) and moving funds around to accommodate the purchase.

We knew buying it was the right decision.

And less than 30 minutes after we’d walked into that gallery, we were walking out with the print I ¬†our hands – number 11 of only 15 printed. A Vivian Maier original.

Buying that print has been an overwhelming experience. Stu and I still can’t quite believe we’ve done it! But to know that we have a piece of Vivian’s beautiful work, bought in the very city she shot it, well, it just makes it all that more special to us.

I can only hope that someone feels the same about my work someday!

There is a point to all of this, I promise you! It is this… don’t move forward regretting things in your life that you haven’t done, haven’t experienced or haven’t bought. Life is too bloody short. Make the most of every moment, live your dreams and do everything in your power to make the things you want happen. It is your responsibility to get the absolute most out of your life, no one else’s! So grab it with both hands and bloody run with it. If mad decisions leave you grinning like a loon then you totally know you’ve made the right one! Enjoy it. Embrace it. You’ll be all the happier for it.

Much love x


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