Small Steps on the Right Path
Wow, what a busy and exciting week I have had! Just this past week I celebrated yet another birthday. Many may not feel that a birthday is an exciting thing or any kind of accomplishment. If you think about it, each day is an accomplishment. You may just be one step closer to a goal or you may have learned a valuable lesson. But each day is an accomplishment nonetheless.
Aging – Not for the Weak
Getting older has its challenges; that’s for certain. Many people have preconceived notions about you because of your age. If your “such and such age” you should look like this, dress like that and behave in a certain appropriate manner. Have you ever been told by someone to “Act your age” and wonder what that would even look like? Well, I think age is a relative thing. Some may feel old early on and some may never really feel old at all. I say, “Act the way you feel, and enjoy life at any age. It is never too late to live your dream.”
My Exciting Birthday Week
Yes, I said birthday week; not day, but week! I have a friend that celebrates the whole week and I know others that celebrate the whole month. So, from now on I am just going to celebrate Life and every year, my birthday week! No more moaning and groaning about getting older, just enjoying the journey.
My birthday week started by me entering an Art Exhibition. This was my very first time and it was overwhelming, exciting, stressful and scary all at once. I have never entered an art competition before as an adult! I never felt ready, or good enough to go up against “real artists” before. But I soon learned through this process that many artistic people feel that very same way. I think that most of us are harder on our work than others are. We never feel that we are quite ready yet. But I took the plunge and it was a great experience.
Ouachita Expressions Art Exhibition
The art exhibition was a juried show that is held each year at a local Gallery where I live. I was able to enter 3 pieces of art. It was hard to choose, since I have never done this before and had no idea what the local people enjoy when it comes to art. So I selected a piece I did a few years ago and 2 recent pieces I did; all three portraits. Of course I was hoping to win. There would be no reason to enter if I didn’t have a hope in placing. So Tuesday Morning I went down town to the gallery, joined as a member and entered my work into the exhibit. The Curator seemed excited about my entries.
Waiting for the Call
After entering and talking with the Curator a bit I was feeling more comfortable and confident in my decision to enter. She told me that the entries would be hung on Wednesday and the Judge would come in Thursday morning. She then said she would make the phone calls to those who placed in the competition. I thought to myself, “Thursday will be a stressful day!” And boy was it!
I knew that the Gallery was open from 10am to 3pm and so if I had not heard from her within that time I didn’t place. I was trying not to think about it and just continue working on my current piece. I kept looking at the time and at about 2pm I thought, “Well, I must not have placed at all.”
“A journey is not linear but multi-directional, with lots of curves, trails, some wrong turns, beautiful sites and some great views.”
I was kind of feeling down and thought, how do I improve my work if I don’t know where to start? How do I ever really know where I am at as far as being an Artist? I was trying to just concentrate on my work. My husband came in and asked if I had heard anything yet and I quietly said, “No, nothing yet.” So he left for a bit and at 2:16pm my phone rang! It was the gallery! I quick answered and heard on the other end, “Hello Barbara, this is Julie, I just wanted to let you know that “Hershey” placed Honorable Mention in the show, congratulations!”
First, you must know that I am a bit of an overachiever… I was happy for the call, but yet a bit bummed by that fact that I was in, well… 4th place. My husband came home once again and asked if I had heard anything. I said, yes and told him what Julie said. His response was, “You sound completely underwhelmed. Why don’t you go down there and see what your competition was.”
“Now way! I’m not going down there. How embarrassing would that be! I’ll see the competition on Saturday at the Awards Reception.” Jim (my husband) is a bit tenacious. He looked and me and said, “Well, I’m going down there,” and turned around and left. When he came back home he told me that I should really be happy with placing. The judge did a very good job and gave each piece a score based on 5 criteria. My pieces were scored at 19 points for “Hershey,” 18 points for “Golden Years” and 16 points for “Newlyweds.” The First place piece in my category received 21 points, second place was 20 points and third was 19 points (we have no idea why my piece was placed as Honorable Mention vs the other that received the same score). There were only 2 points between my highest score and the 1st Place winner!
The Curator told Jim that it is quite an accomplishment to place at all; let alone be a completely “unknown” in the local art community. So I feel so much better now about where I placed. And as a bonus the judge made a comment on each and every piece so I was given an understanding of the scores I was given.
So, this was a great experience for me. Many of my friends came out to the reception to support me and I thank every single one of them! I also thank my husband Jim for all of his support and encouragement. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.♥
I will definitely enter more work as the opportunity presents itself!