WINNER – 2013 People’s Choice Awards

Winter Chickadee
Winter Chickadee
Well you’ve gone and done it again. Picked a People Choice winner from the paintings I did in 2013.

First a big thank you to all who voted. There were 41 voters compared to 29 last year. Voting was spread across 23 paintings.

Thanks for giving me lots to think about. Last year’s winner was a winter bird scene also. Wonder if I did the contest in the summer if the choice would have been different? Several people, who shall remain nameless, voted for more than one. Saying they couldn’t pick one, you should know, I picked for them. Used the first painting they listed. Next year, should I have a first, second, and third place category? Which paintings didn’t get selected at all? Looking at the stats has helped me know my art is reaching more people.

But the best part is learning the personal stories that come along with the votes. Reminding me again of the personal nature of art. Painting is a life work, but knowing a painting can strike a memory or evoke a feeling, helps me to understand that paintings appeal for very intimate reasons. And not often what I would have imagined.

Two commissions came in second (Dottie) and third (Digger). Last year one commission came in third. It appears that when you take the time to get a good picture of your pet, the resulting painting is something special.

Again, a great big thanks for taking the time to vote. The winner of the drawing for the signed print of last year’s painting winner was Carolyn Jones from Sleepy Cat Jewelry. A local jewelry artist, I was thrilled when her number was picked.

Dottie - Private collection
Dottie – Private collection

Digger - Private Collection
Digger – Private Collection

Harsh and Fierce

Watercolor, approximately 7" x 7" $75.00
Watercolor, approximately 7″ x 7″ $75.00
Another round of snow has dumped another 4″ or so on top of many inches already covering the ground. The meteorologists were calling it a “manageable” snowfall. Like many, I am bone weary and sore from falling in this “manageable” snowfall.

Reminders to myself that we need to live in the moment, be grateful and accept things we cannot change, do not seem to work when I find myself whining along with friends and family. Lamenting altered plans, wasted time scraping and shoveling, longing for a glimpse of green. Sometimes putting into practice the art of gratitude is sorely tested.

Several shelves in the studio are now back in order, my commission is finished, and with many classes being cancelled, I’ve had some time to paint for myself. The eagle above is one of those paintings. Painted with permission from a photo by Gary Jones Photography, and as part of a February challenge posted on Sharon’s Art Facebook Page, I started it unenthusiastically.

Birdwatching is part of my life and good for my soul. For the past four days, I enthusiastically participated in The Great Backyard Bird Count (it’s been too cold and miserable to go many places). But, I found the original photo rather fierce and harsh. Spent my details on the eye and beak. Definitely wasn’t loving what was showing up. Out came the big “butter” brush and I soaked the paper around those details, and more characteristic for my style, let it go. With the help of a spray bottle and the rigger brush, I finished it quickly.

The fierce and harsh came out, and I like this painting. He’s a reminder that when faced with something we don’t care for, perhaps we just need to reach down a little farther, use a little more imagination and shovel through. We might find something we like, even if a bit different than the norm.

Or, perhaps he’s just a reflection of the fact that this winter makes me want to scream.