Saturday, June 13, 2015

...The Highs, the Low's and the Sweetness of Success...

Best in Show!!

'Best In Show', Elkhart Art League's 2015 Juried Show
    I told my buyer back in May that I wanted to hang onto 'MOOooo' for just a bit longer before we make the exchange. I thought perhaps I might enter her in an upcoming show in hope that I might be able to give my collector a winning painting.
So I entered her in a regional show. It was my first time entering this particular show. What a WONDERFUL experience to say the least!!!

   I dropped off two paintings, both realism pieces but both very different in subject matter.
My thinking here was that I could cover a couple bases depending on what the judge 'might' piece, 'Got Donut's?', being more contemporary and 'MOOooo' being more regional whimsy. If you won, they would call you before the show on Thursday. I didn't think I even placed this time as it was Wednesday night around 7:00pm and I hadn't received a call. I had JUST told the Hub's, "I guess I didn't win but can't win all the time..." to wit he agreed. I walked in the house and my phone rang.  I didn't recognize the number as it was showing an out of state area code. I answered and the gal on the phone asked if I was Kathy and I said I was. She then told me congratulations that I had won an award and to be at the opening reception on Thursday evening. I was stunned! I ran back outside to the patio and told the Hub's my news! He was shocked as he always is when I win.

   After driving to the show in a torrential downpour, the husband (who is never very comfortable at any of my art events) and I walked into the gallery. I always feel a bit awkward at these things (cue up that low self esteem bit here) since I spend so much of my time alone painting. I tend to keep a low profile.  'Got Donuts' was in the front window display so we knew it wasn't that one. It had to be 'MOOooo'. We quietly milled about looking for her.
We didn't see her (MOOooo) anywhere upstairs so we went to lower level. I still didn't see her. I grabbed a small glass of wine so as to not look like a complete idiot and then we headed back upstairs. I grabbed one of the show programs on the table and the Hub's grabbed one as well. I remember saying "Look, 'MOOooo" made the cover! How cool is that!?". I didn't even open the program. Then the Hub's say's 'Are you ready to be more surprised?" I looked at him and said "Why, what?" 
Then he said 'You won BEST of Show!" My reaction was my jaw about hit the floor!!!! Gobsmacked I was!!! We finally found her...right in front on the table by the door...
So Randy... I painted you an official WINNER this time.... BEST IN SHOW!!! :)

The Highs, the Low's and the Sweetness of Success

   When I talk about the highs and lows of art...they are very real. If you're not a working artist, you probably won't 'get it' unless you work a minimum wage job and three important bills just rolled in.  You know there's not enough money in your checking account to cover them all and you're still paying for that last awards trip you went on.... Depression starts to sink success really worth it? And what IS success anyways? Maybe I should get a 'real' job again and be miserable like everyone else. Then you tell yourself, you know your good enough at what you do and you're passionate about it, just keep working harder...
So you juggle the bills and you work, you work a lot...and you take a few more chances and just when you think you have get recognized again!
Success is always a shock to me because I never quite feel good anything. That's just me. Low self esteem and high expectations are rarely a combination for being chipper all the time....but keeps me plodding onward and upwards.

Last week, I gave a talk at our local art museum and made a few new art friends. 
I remember standing at the podium telling the audience why I create. I compared my style of painting to climbing a mountain in that when your at the base, you can just easily plod through but once you get closer to the top, each step becomes more precise and calculated. I also mentioned that I always feel like I could do better work, I'm never quite satisfied. The feeling is like climbing a ladder that never ends, I keep wanting to get to the next rung.
I talked with confidence and passion because painting is what I know best...well besides medicine (it's nurse thing, once one, always one)...but this paint thing, is what gets me the MOST excited!!!
There was a wonderful lady in the audience who chimed that she owns one of my paintings. I remember that I took a pause and excitedly asked if she loved the painting? She exclaimed that they enjoy it so much and look at it everyday...even thinking about that comment chokes me up almost as much as it did when she said it. Those comments really do a heart good!  I can easily handle the subtle (and not so subtle) insults and slights I get from other artists (and I do get them, only two this week)  however it's the kind remarks of people who LOVE and enjoy your work that matter the the end THAT is the sweetness of success and it tastes really good at this moment...

Enjoy your Saturday! :)



  1. Be confident, stay humble and keep doing what you love!

    1. No fear there! I'll never change ...humble and funny forever! :)