Last week rejection, is this weeks winner

I entered two of my encaustic monotypes into the “Construct” show at Artserve in Ft. Lauderdale.  My membership to Artserve will expire in Sept.  It was last year’s birthday present to myself.  I had been a bit disappointed by the “call to artists” that they had all year. I decided to be selective of how and where I place my work.  I attend many of the artshows at the local guilds, and even thought they have a theme, I never can see it in the art that is on display.  Maybe it is just me.

So I decide to submit my small prints (4″ x 4″) into the show. The theme “Construct” was asking for artwork that would be used for home decoration. Since my prints have that “look” of decorator art (again, what I think it should be) I decided to put in 2 pieces. One piece I had professionally framed. This piece was going to be my “showcase” piece, so that people can see how a tiny piece of work, when framed, can create a look. My second piece I framed myself in a small frame.

So I enter and a week later I attend the opening.  I go, the gallery is packed and do not see my work hanging, so I thought, “Oh great, rejected again” as I start to leave a fellow artist, Susan Clifton, says, hey AJ congratulations and I say for what, my art is not even hanging.  It was behind her work and she said in the program it stated I won best in show.  The reception started at 6, but I didn’t get there until 7 and all the programs had been distributed.

I was amazed.I met the Judge, an architect and painter from Germany who teaches at the university in Boca Raton. He wanted to know how I did it and loved the piece. Even the Board of Directors  came up to me and said, it was unanimous, when we had the final selection, we all said “that one” .

And what did I win, a full year’s membership to Artserve.   But what I really got out of it was confidence and validation.

The highs and lows of the art world.

a picture from my iphone of the winning piece

Is a painting of a tree “eco-friendly”?

A few weeks ago I attended the Broward County Red Cross Designer Showcase. When I got to the beautiful houses on Las Olas, I was told that the art was all “eco-friendly”. What I discovered was the paint used through out all the homes was a new low-odor, evironmentally friendly housepaint. But I was also told that all the art/painting on the walls are “green”. I think the host was confused as to paint on the walls being this new enviromentally safe product, to what he thought was paintings of seashells and palm trees. But it did get me thinking. All the art in the houses had a nature them, beaches, sand, seashells, ocean views, florals etc. But all the art was made from oil or acrylic paint. All of which use chemicals, mineral spirits, turpentine, mediums, and what is not used is tossed in the garbage or washed down the sink. This is probably why I work in encaustics. The stuff is beeswax and it never goes to waste. Almost everything that I use is recycled. I paint on wood, there is no washing of brushes, the beeswax has no chemicals in it, the damar is from trees, I don’t waste any paint. Once I mix a color, I can just remelt it and it never goes to waste. Wax, to me is the true “eco-friendly” product. The only thing that I really use is electricity, which is generated by some plant that adds to the carbon output. But I can’t eliminate everything. To me the real “green” art is not the subject matter, it is the media.