For a variety of reasons, some too personal to share and others just a matter of geography and busy lives, my husband and I met our niece Jenny’s daughter, Ava, for the first time last winter and saw her again in April. She’s five now, a beautiful little girl with a big personality who completely beguiled us. I couldn’t help myself; I had to try to capture that twinkle in her portrait…
How delightful to end a relaxing holiday weekend with the news that Reach won a Special Merit Award in the Painting and Other Media category of the LightSpaceTime Online Gallery Open Art Exhibition for September 2018! The gallery received 702 entries from 31 different countries from around the world, as well as from 39 different states, and I am honored to be included with 64 other artists in this category. You can enjoy a slide show of this exhibition on lightspacetime.art by clicking on the thumbnail image on their website, which will then display larger images.
The LightSpaceTime Online Gallery ran a Vacation Special Art Competition (no theme) this June, asking artists to submit five images of their best abstract or representational art to be considered for exhibition. The gallery received 1558 entries from 39 different countries around the world, 43 states and the District of Columbia. There were only five overall winners, drawn from Painting and Other Media, 3 Dimensional Art and Photography and Digital Media, so I was especially honored to find that Rising Again has won a Special Merit Award in Painting and Other Media. Take a look at www.lightspacetime.art to see the 84 artists in this category with me, since I can only show you a small sample here.
The Marblehead Festival of the Arts is celebrated every Fourth of July weekend with exhibits and activities throughout the town. I have submitted paintings to the Painting Exhibit and Senior Art for as long as I have been eligible but have never won an award. Imagine my surprise when I got a phone call yesterday morning to tell me that my painting, Rising, in the Senior Art exhibit of the Festival, won the People’s Choice Award this year! People attending the exhibits have an opportunity to vote for their favorite work, and Rising got the most votes in Senior Art! I am beyond thrilled and happy to have this encouragement from the people who attended the festival in the last five days and saw fit to choose my painting. I am very honored, and I can’t seem to stop smiling!
I like to name my paintings…to give them titles that convey at least some of what I’m feeling and thinking about them as they come together from drawing to finished piece. This beast of a 40” X 40” canvas took a couple of weeks to paint, giving me more than enough time to think of a name for it. The dancer is so powerful, so focused, so aspirational in this moment frozen in time that I chose to call it Reach. I see him on the prow of a ship, on top of a mountain, on a stage in a theater, on top of the world, calling to mind Robert Browning’s poem, Andrea del Sarto, “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?” In what I now call my first life, I was a high school English teacher and taught creative writing; now I’m a painter, who continues to write and just quoted a poet who used a painter for his subject…now that’s the circle of life.
Thanks again to Whitney Browne, a most painterly photographer who allows me to use her images for inspiration. See what she does, especially Dance for the Photographic Eye, at http://www.whitneybrowne.com.
No matter how many people tell you your work is good or how good you think you are, it’s always a thrill and a privilege to have a submission accepted into a juried exhibition. I entered the Salem Arts Festival for the first time this year and was honored to see Dancing With the Stars hanging in the Old Town Hall in Salem this weekend.
In case you haven’t noticed, I love painting two people together. Kissing, whispering, dancing the tango…I relish the interaction and the intimacy. I also like to vary my painting experiences by taking a break from one subject to the next, by working in color after black and white, by painting a small canvas after a couple of large ones. I think it allows me to approach every new painting with a fresh eye. And so At Last is a small canvas, filled with color and a sensuous image of two people who I imagine have finally managed to fulfill a mutual fantasy.