At the Saturday morning quick draw everyone set up at the prescribed area of the downtown park and mission, except me. Being the rebel, I just didn't want to do what everyone else was doing, mainly because everyday I drove into town I saw this White 1970 Cadillac Hearse sitting in a driveway for sale, just few blocks down the street from the park. I want to paint it every time I saw it so I shut the logic center of my brain off and decided to do it.
I was a little late when I stated and had very little time, Well I've painted cars before, but not this much a close portrait, under tight time and changing light. I struggled, almost quit and then finally did what I felt was an acceptable job for less that 2 hours of painting.
It was now 11:30; I was supposed to be in the park. I packed up and drove over realizing I was parked as close as I was going to get anyway, I drove back to my spot that was now gone, found another farter away. Cursing a blue streak and running the blocks to the park with my painting I soon realized everyone was displaying their paintings on their painting kits. I had to go back to my car again, got the kit, set up, stated talking to some nice people who wanted a card. I realized all my cards I brought for the show were in my car. By the time I got back form my car, my painting was gone. They had grabbed it for the auction. Now I realized why you painted in the park, a one stop set up.
Feeling a little sick that 1% of the crowd got to see my work, I was vexed that during the auction the public was not allowed to look at the art despite the 3 hour estimate that the auction would take. The good news was it was a good sized crowd and they were doing a great job of doing strong introductions of the artists and descriptions of the art and the auctioneer was funny and worked the bidders well. The art was selling and selling at good prices. The crowd was engaged for most of the auction, but after a few hours the long set up for the sales wore a little thin and the buyers started to go home. It was alphabetical and I was dead last. They chose to make the closing announcements before my piece was auctioned so along with the subject being off beat, everyone was gone. Off beat/ modern is one thing, but a lot of collectors are retried, do they want a piece of art depicting death? What was I thinking? No bids until my friend and fellow painter Danny Griego snagged it for the opening bid at the last second.
It was so upset yet I had brought it on myself. My poor planning, along with some bad luck had it's cost. I now had to run back to the farm I was staying at because I had promised my girlfriend we would go to the lake that afternoon. I was already way later that I expected I would be and when I got there we still had to get gas in the next town as Santa Margarita doesn't have a gas station so by the time we drove out to the lake it was basically time to go back the farm and dress for the auction/party for the paintings we did all week. I was feeling discouraged and a bit sorry for myself, guilty about making Sharon wait around so we dragged our feet at the lake and showed up at the party late.
I was still feeling embarrassed about the Jerry Lewis style debacle of the Quick draw so we snuck in the back door. As I stuck my head in I realized there was a ribbon next to my train painting... I had won the Artists Choice award! People started crowing around congratulating me; there were bids on the train and the most modern painting of the drive in. Everyone had been selling; the night was a success for most of the artists! Two Nice collectors named Mary and Bill bought the drive in painting because it was so modern! The president of SOLAC won the Train painting. I left feeling redeemed. I assumed I didn’t win any money for the artists choice award, but that didn’t matter, I was honored that my peers had voted for me.
train pic is from a photo, scan later.
The next day when I picked up the last of my paintings at the art center, Karen the director asked me it I had picked up my envelope? I said no, what's that? She tells me with a sly smile, it's for the Artist Choice; you get a free half page ad in Southwestern Art. Wow! I didn’t think it could get any better.
Back at home I find an E- mail from the Just Looking Gallery I had stopped in SLO to admire the frames. I'd had a nice chat with one of the owners about frames and the show itself. Turns out after we chatted his partner, and some other artists form the gallery went down to the show, and they all liked my work enough to ask me to join their Gallery. I'm putting together some paintings for them now and you bet I'll be adding a link to their place today right here! Yahoo!