It’s been a while since I have taken the time to write any thoughts down on this site.
My daily life has definitely started to change now that our second little is trying to walk.
In December, I entered a new piece into a juried art show. Normally, I prefer to not even enter them since it kind of feels like a sports event-with the competitive part being the focus. Art is SO subjective, and it’s SO personal, and it’s SO hard for the person making it, that the very thought of watching all of the artists lined up to see if their name is announced at 7:00pm on a Friday night makes my skin crawl. I decided, however, that this show was one I should participate in. The theme “Small Wonders” seemed right up my alley since I am so pressed for time to do much with my art, and doing small work is what I’ve been doing anyhow.
For this show there were simple guidelines: nothing could be over 12″ in any direction, including the frame. Other than that, the theme was up to the artist’s interpretation, and could be done in any medium. I chose to do a watercolor piece- to challenge myself in unfamiliar territory.
(I have been working with watercolors lately. And, although I would like to say it’s because of some personal admiration for the medium, some homage to their translucent beauty…it has been for one reason and one reason only: cleanup time. I simply do not have as much time as I would like to do my art, and even though watercolor is quite difficult for me, it is very easy to set up/clean up the supplies.)
So, with about 2 weeks to prepare for the show, I completed this piece:
This piece measures exactly 12″x 12″, including the frame. Thirty tiny, 1″x 1″ landscapes of the Eastern Shore of Maryland are shown- from Ocean City to Dorchester County.
At the opening of the show awards were given. This piece did not win anything. Two really kind artists came up to me asking if this was my piece, and expressed their surprise that the judge had not chosen it. I thanked them, and explained that doing the piece had been more for my benefit, practicing a difficult medium for me, than for anything else.
I was able to speak to the judge that night as well. During our conversation she asked if I would like to know why she hadn’t chosen my piece. She stated that although she liked my choice of medium and format, she felt that there was not enough space devoted to each landscape to adequately show my skill as an artist.
A month later, I drove back to the gallery to pick it up. The gallery director met me at the door with a smile. “You’re Rachel”, she said. “Yes, ma’am”, I replied. “I was really surprised that your piece wasn’t chosen for an award. I thought you took the theme of the show and really ran with it….all those tiny landscapes…that must have taken forever! I’m sorry that it worked out this way. Please consider entering our next juried competition in April. I’d love to see what you come up with.” Those were encouraging words, I must say. Honestly, I never cared all that much about an award. But, as an artist-which is such a vulnerable thing to be, it’s always nice to be validated-especially by someone who appreciates art for a living.
As it turns out, another local gallery is doing a small works show. I am producing new work to submit, but I am also considering giving this piece another chance.
Art is a funny thing. You never know how it will be received. Thankfully, I am happy just to have produced something with my own two hands. There is something satisfying about having a vision and seeing it all the way through.
Here are the “postcards” I have completed for the upcoming show. They are 4″x6″.
On another note, it’s sunny and 50 degrees. Yahoo!!!