Thursday, October 12, 2006

SLO part 3, Rebellion has it's cost and redemption that keeps giving.

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!


Blogger Unknown said...

Nice paintings!

12:27 PM  
Blogger Miles Thompson said...

beautiful baby


1:15 PM  
Blogger Leslie Sealey said...

Congratulations!! Everyone looks so happy; what a great ending. The train painting is outstanding. : )

1:31 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I really enjoyed reading these entries about the SLO. I kind of always had a "romantic" vision of these type of events as being wine and roses. Everything going smooth. Paintings flying off the easels. It's refreshing to read about the trials and tribulations, as well as some honest feelings, that happen during something like this.

Congrats on the award and acceptance into the gallery. That train painting is really topnotch. Itching to get a closeup view.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Nicole and Adam said...

Really nice car. I just found your blog today and I must say I am very impressed. Your landscapes are great but the way you paint trailers and cars is fantastic. Keep up the good work.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Jamar said...

Way to be, my man!


4:59 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

thatnks Miles and Leslie, I'm happy things are on an upswing.

7:24 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey Tim,

I think it is romantic for certain people, I have a negative streak I have to fight when things don't go just as I want them to... but it this case it turned out pretty damn well.

7:26 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

thanks Quin,

I think cars have a kind of life to them as intresting as people.

11:17 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

thanks Jam--

11:18 PM  
Blogger rob ijbema said...

well Bill,what a time you had,
up and down and up,just like life!
really enjoyed reading your blog, you're not a bad writer either!
glad everything worked out,you deserve it,working so hard..

love that car,surprise,surprise!

congrats with the sales,prize and new gallery,onwards and upwards!
all my best Rob

2:37 AM  
Blogger BoneDaddy said...

I love the hearse! IS that really a '66? I thought they were more rounded in the front end.
You know, doing what you did is just going to make people remember you. It may have bit you in the ass that day, but at least you were thinking outside the coffin, right?

3:17 AM  
Blogger Chris Sterritt said...

What a GREAT story! Congratulations! Glad it all worked out so well. Can't wait to see the Train painting scan.

6:46 AM  
Blogger Dean H. said...

Way to go, Bill! Your hard work=great art=rewards you well deserve!

All my best, Dean

6:48 AM  
Blogger Larry Seiler said...

congratulations Bill!!! The journey continues...and with its perks and earned distinctions along the way!!!

7:39 AM  
Blogger Steve Andrews said...

Nice job on everything. That has to be alot of pressure. You did yourself proud.
Practical question. With one of these shows the painting is obviously not dry.

7:59 AM  
Blogger TJ said...

Good paintings. And congrats on the sales and the FREE 1/2 ad in Southwestern Art!

I think a good experience for you - -


9:07 AM  
Blogger Making A Mark said...

What a story - and what a result! (I was feeling for you all the way through the first bit of the story - sort of thing I have been known to do ;) )

Well done and congratulations on the recognition to date and to come!

9:45 AM  
Blogger aw said...

Terrific! Way to go...You deserve it and your hard work paid off!!! You got a great story to tell on top of it. ;)

10:46 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

thanks Rob, the man with a millon blogs! I was quite the drama, in my mind anyway.

11:08 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey BG you caoght me in a brain fart, thats either a 69 or 70. I used to know these things...sad.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Ron Guthrie said...

I have to admit Bill, I never thought being an artist going to something like this would be so "normal"...fighting the clock, making bad decisions, forgetting things and all the while wondering why you get yourself into such predicaments....sounds a lot like any artists least it sounds a lot like mine at times. Thanks for being honest enough to show the reality of an artist showing in the big leagues. Through it all, it's what happend in the end and you kicked you know what! AWESOME!....and the train is a Bill Wray train.

11:53 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

thanks chris a scan is in the works... I hope.

12:43 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Dean, yea and some luck and orgnization would help.

3:19 PM  
Blogger BoneDaddy said...

Yeah, but even a '69 or '70 hearse is still cool. If I was at that auction, and had money, I would have started a bidding war for that painting.

6:59 PM  
Blogger cazsh said...

thanks for the candid account of your experience. it was very enjoyable and refreshing. I love your paintings. maybe I will see you out in the "plein air" sometimes.

9:00 PM  
Blogger lady guerrilla painter said...

Congratulations! Hard work pays off eventually, looks like you're on your way. We'll look forward to what happens next!

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting story William ! Congratulations !

9:02 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey Larry,
I owe a lot of what kept me going to Wet Canvas. Kept me going in the "down times" and I'm sure those are not over yet.

11:04 AM  
Blogger william wray said...



Yes the wet Canvas is a pain. but you pop it in a frame and deal with it. You have to bring framing equipment with you, I brought a pin gun and some frames pre made. King of frames was there too with a van full of pre made frames.

11:08 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:08 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

Terry yes it was, i learned a lot from it, mainly sticking to my own POV and some better planning is in order.

11:37 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

thaks Kat , yes I'm a drama queen who likes to vent, hope I didn't bruse any ego's along the way, but I tell it like I went though it ( in my own mind) ;-)

1:17 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Amanda, Storytelling runs in the family as you know.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Julianne said...

Wow, what a story! All that hassle reminds me of those kinds of dreams that I sometimes have. But you got your karma for stopping to paint the car because you HAD to! :) Congrats, and lovely work as usual.

8:22 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey Ron,

I should have had it together going in, but I've always been overcommitted in my life and usually just wing it and hope I can ramp up fast, lucky for me king of Frames was there or I would have been F---ed. I didn't have enough frames with me for the sizes I picked.

11:04 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

thatks BG-- May all artists get rich! Lord please! Ok just one artist I know, let him hit lotto!

11:05 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Cazsh-- i try and tell it like it is-- to my peril.

11:12 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

thanks lady Monkey-- I look fowrad to the day you come out of the jungle.

11:15 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

thanks Sheri-- Always nice to hear form yhou.

11:16 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

thatks Julianne,

It felt like a nightmare util that evening. ;-)

11:19 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home