My painting, "Klamath Lake Lily III", received 6th place award from Juror Ratindra Das at the 50th WSO Fall Watercolor Exhibition in Hermiston OR, with the convention held this past weekend. In July I wrote about making choices for competition, about the difficulty, the hope, the fear I face when offering up my works to a juried show. My painting was accepted.
I rejoiced in that acceptance, got the painting framed and delivered it to the convention. On awards night this past Saturday, I saw the 6th place ribbon on MY painting and had to sit down, rather suddenly, on a nearby bench. I've been in several shows in the past few years. I've never won an award before now. I was speechless. My husband recorded the event with a photo.
One of the people in charge of the exhibition told me that the Juror had said he wished to speak with me. So I sought him out in a quiet moment before the evening's festivities began. I explained who I was. I expected, I don't know, I guess some discussion about my painting or my technique. Mr. Das said "Your mat is too small. It should be bigger by at least an inch." I was startled, said that I used the standard 3 inch size and that I try to enter pieces that are smaller to keep shipping costs down. He shook his head. In a show like this one, a larger mat would have placed my painting in a more prominent position on the wall, he told me, which was absolutely correct.
It took a day or so for what he had actually shared to soak into my brain. I'm "there" now. I won't get into every show I enter but I'm getting in regularly enough that what I'm offering is worthy. Now I have to think of the business end of things like presentation and positioning in the show. The cost of shipping has to become irrelevant. My friend and instructor, Ruth Armitage, has been telling me to pay attention to the "business" aspect of the art world. Mr. Das reinforced what Ruth has been saying. I guess I am ready to take the next step forward.