Only a few days into Inktober last year, I had to interrupt so that I could share my happiness over winning my first art award — a judge merit award on the “storm clouds” painting I’d entered in the 2018 HFAA Regional show.
Recently I shared my excitement when I received two judge merit awards at the HFAA Member show.
I received a ribbon, too, at the Raytown Art Show — a lovely participation ribbon.
It’s nice to have a growing collection of ribbons, to feel that my artwork has some merit, and to believe in myself as an artist. That last part — believing in myself — is still a challenge at times.
Yesterday I spent most of the day steeling myself for disappointment. On Monday I’d helped check in work for the 2019 HFAA Regional show open to artists in a 100-mile radius of Harrisonville. As always, I questioned why I was entering the show. I had no chance to win anything. I was sure of it. There wouldn’t be any judge merit awards for me this time around.
I was right. I didn’t receive merit awards on any of the three paintings I entered. I was prepared for the disappointment, so I passed by the first painting, resigned to view my participation as one more valuable learning experience.
And then when I came to my next painting, I noticed something odd. There was a ribbon hanging there. A real ribbon. Oh, my goodness! It must be some sort of Honorable Mention, I thought. It was then that I realized that the ribbon was blue and the unbelievable truth hit me. I had won first place in the oil painting category!
Excuse the horrible photo, reflection and all. I was so excited — and so stunned — I could barely take the picture. My husband hadn’t come to the reception with me, so I wanted to text him to show him the incredible news. I mumbled a few words to the club president, asking if this was really true, telling her that there must be some sort of mistake. She assured me that there was no mistake.
Probably at least five minutes passed before I happened to look at my third painting. And what did I find?
Excuse the goofy look. Another artist volunteered to take photos of me with my art, and I was still in a total state of shock.
It’s morning now. Nearly twelve hours have gone by since I first saw those two ribbons on my paintings, but the shock hasn’t passed yet. I still can’t believe it.
The judge spoke briefly at the reception, praising the high quality of the art in the show. She’s a retired art teacher who taught for over forty years, and she’s an extremely talented artist. She explained that she judged primarily by what she called academics, those elements of art that we read, study, and hope to put into practice in our drawings and paintings — composition, balance, harmony, color, contrast, and similar concepts. Hearing those words made me feel good about my painting. I still have a lot to learn, but these awards show that I’m definitely going in the right direction.
So, please join with me today to celebrate this huge milestone on my art journey. And, yes, there will be an Inktober post coming up just a little bit later.