I won, I won, I won!
No, not a leg lamp, just a second place ribbon in the category of “other media” in my local Art Society annual Spring Juried Show at our library. Big time, people.
A little background on how I ended up here: After being “the artist” in the family all my young life, I wasn’t ready or interested enough when I graduated from high school to invest full-time in studying art in college, and I was torn between being an art major and an English major, so I chose to be an art major at a small Catholic liberal arts college where the art program was pretty negligible and I’d get a very broad liberal arts education. I had fun drawing and painting for four years and won awards in every student art show, but I never really got down to making art my life or anything.
I never seriously pursued a career in art after graduation, either; instead, I became an English teacher at a liberal arts high school and loved it for seven years. During that time I didn’t do much painting other than on the walls of my house and a couple of gifts for people. After I stopped teaching a did an illustration project for a friend who was self-publishing a series of books, and that was a really good experience in meeting deadlines and drawing what other people want but making it my own. It was also a chance to practice and hone my pen-and ink techniques, which I used again in one of the works I entered into this most recent art show.
Anyway, to the present. We moved to this area two years ago and I started to notice that there was a local art society that had shows twice a year at the library, as well as a regular tent at the weekly Farmers’ Market in town, and when I expressed interest my mother encouraged me to join. I finally did so this winter and in the beginning of May I got to enter two pieces into the juried art show. One was a watercolor of Margot, with some colored pencil detailing, and the other was a pen and ink drawing of Ruthie. Sorry for the bad photos.
Both works are done from photos taken by my talented husband — in fact, I’m pretty sure every other painting I’ve done from a photo in recent years has been one of his photos as well. He has bragging rights for getting a higher grade than I did in the photography class we took together in college. I totally stink at photography, as you can see. He does not; here is the original of Ruthie, and it’s a work of art in itself:
So, we’re a good team!
In any case, the reception for the art show was this past Thursday, and when I heard that one of my pieces had won, I and everyone else assumed it was the pen and ink, but it was actually the watercolor of Margot. Once I saw the rest of this guy’s choices it made more sense, but several people stopped me about the drawing of Ruthie, and one even said he would’ve chosen it for best in show!
It’s been good to get back into things, but I don’t think the Art Association is the path to a career; the members are mostly older and have come to art as a hobby in retirement. So far I’m the only person I know of with an art degree, and I’m pretty sure if I want to get serious about this I’ll have to go to grad school, which isn’t in the cards with babies at home. For now it’s a good way to keep me in the game and stop me from getting too rusty, and I’m glad I joined. Ruthie is proud!