Friday, July 13, 2012

Artist's Magazine Finalist!

I just got some very exciting news.  My self portrait, "Yes, this is me." has been chosen as a finalist in the Portraits/Figures category of The Artist's Magazine 29th Annual Art Competition.  It'll be published in the December 2012 edition.  It's the first time my work has been accepted in a national arts magazine.  It makes me smile with glee!

I have submitted work to The Artist's Magazine and Pastel Journal before, at $15 a pop - it ain't cheap - and haven't had work accepted before, so I was a bit skeptical about trying again, but I decided to try anyway.  I'm so happy that they chose my piece.

The portrait is done in pastels over top of an oil painting with a very active surface - that's why it has an unusual texture.  I've used the technique a couple of times and like how it works.  The painting is done from a photograph my husband Chris took of me one night when I was trying to get some images to paint from.

I do art because I have to - it's how my brain processes the world - it takes information in as images or feelings or thoughts or facts or whatever and spits it back out as images created in paint or graphite or whatever else.  I didn't use to be an artist - had no clue that I was - but now that I've realized that's who I am, the world feels very different.  I recognize that this is how I fit into the world.  I can comprehend the world better once I've processed it through expression on the page (sometimes in words, but I think more effectively in images).  When I'm having strong feelings, I turn to the easel.  When I see something I am not familiar with, I paint or draw it to learn about it.  When I want to fully understand a concept, I conceptualize it visually and it becomes clear. 

One sure sign I'm an artist is because if I don't do something creative on a given day, I end up feeling very grumpy and irritable.  My kids lovingly suggest I might want to spend some time in the studio to help me feel better when I get like that.  It virtually always works!

Another sign is that when I go on vacation and have nothing I have to do, I pull out my art supplies and play.  When we were at the beach a few months ago and I was done in, exhausted, and wanted nothing more than to sleep and read and relax, I felt compelled by the beauty outside of the window to draw it!  I set up the easel right away and began drawing.  And it filled my soul and took away my exhaustion and fatigue.

I am so thankful to be able to live my life as an artist, doing what I feel so compelled to do.  It is a rich blessing.

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