I usually enter the Central Ontario Art Association juried shows and, while I normally am accepted, have never won anything bigger than an honourable mention. Let me be clear: ALL levels of recognition are gratefully accepted because it means that the juror “got you.” And there’s no such thing as a “winning formula.” Basically, all of the artists submit their idiosyncratic best with trepidation because jurors have varied tastes. The walls are covered with excellent works.
So when it was hinted that I might want to attend the awards ceremony, I assumed it was a general invitation to the opening reception and allowed that I probably wouldn’t be able to make it, as I was entertaining overnight guests this weekend. It seemed important to the caller, however, so I promised to try, and did in fact, arriving on time, though festooned with the hair of a highly touchable four legged guest (Cover your ears, Theodore) because we all know that I can’t keep my hands off a dog.
When it turned out that “Sweet Melody” had won the ribbon for “Best Acrylic/Oil in Show” I was faint with delight and deeply grateful to all of those who make a show like this possible. My beloved tried to take my picture beside the painting but I couldn’t even manage to stand up straight and might have slid down the wall just a teeny bit. In one digital after another, I have the same goofy expression until he finally gave up in disgust.
Somehow I managed to discuss the painting with people who were interested in it; they would probably describe the conversation as "She babbled for a few minutes and so we nodded." It turned out that most thought the violinist, the dog, and the stained window had been staged ahead of time. That was certainly the intent of the finished painting, but I assure you that it didn't happen that easily. If you don’t believe me, check out February 18, March 19 and March 25 in the Archives. At times it was more like planning a royal wedding than simply painting a portrait. Let's just say that it was a huge relief to finish. You might have caught the fireworks.
On a practical note, no painting of mine is used to being seen in the bright light of day, a scarce commodity in our old house. I might just have to drop by the gallery with a touchup brush for the edges. On the other hand, it couldn’t more obviously be an original!