Sunday, October 5, 2014

Watermedia 2015

OHMYGOSH!!!!!!!!! Could Watermedia be any cooler this year??? *****Prepare yourselves....this is going to be a long blog post***** First things first. This was my first year as being part of the Montana Watercolor Society Board. Wow, what an experience. I decided last year that after being a member for a decade (I know, right....crazy how time flies) that I should give back and volunteer. There was a little box at the bottom of the membership renewal form that asked if you were interested in being part of the board. I checked it and boy did they put me to work! They stuck me as chair for Watermedia....the BIG annual show for MTWS! YIKES!

But thankfully, they all held my hand pretty much! LOL and I learned a LOT about what really goes on in MTWS and how much planning and preperation goes into it from all aspects. Very cool. Oh, and if any of you readers out there are ALSO MTWS members, you should volunteer and help out. It's actually a lot of fun. I've gained some awesome friendships by being on the board. Ok, back to the blog.

So, besides being part of the board and helping plan the event (I got to find the juror for next year, the banquet location for this year, reach out to vendors for merchandise awards, etc), I also entered the show. I've had a couple of people ask me if that was legal and I assure you it is. The Juror (Jean Pederson and she is AWESOME) is sent only the images with indication of who painted them. There were over 200 paintings submitted this year and 47 paintings made the cut with 3 alternates. My piece 'The Edge' made it in!

Days before the opening reception, the juror spends time looking at the exhibit, getting to view the pieces in person instead of as a small digital image. I was able to watch the process. We cover up the name cards on the wall next to the paintings with sticky notes and she picks paintings off the wall and studies them, arranging them in order of ranking she sees fit for awards. I held my breath as I watched her pick 'The Edge' and put it with 20 or so other paintings. Would she put it back? Or would she keep it? And if she kept my piece, where would she rank it??? I was screaming inside my head. AGHHHHHHHHHHHHH :D AGHHHHHHHHHHHH! We had SO many amazing awards from incredible vendors, I wanted to win them all (hey, starving artist here....I want a LOT of supplies! haha!) I ended up with a merchandise award from the University of Montana with $150 worth of art supplies! HOW COOL IS THAT???? WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! It ended up being 11th place. Not bad out of 47 paintings :)

As part of Watermedia Chair, the board and as social media gal for MTWS I became a little fly on the wall and took a TON of pictures at the workshop and the banquet. I'll share some pics from the reception with you in a bit. My darling friend Angie agreed to be my date for the evening (I enticed her with a rocking free meal from Grille 459). It was such a wonderful evening. The opening reception was held again at the Bigfork Museum of Art and History and our Juror Jean Pederson gave a gallery talk and spoke about the award winning paintings and why she chose them. Jean mentioned that she really like the luminosity that was present in 'The Edge' and felt that I captured the essence of the sheep. She said she liked the look of the sheep standing in a hot sun. She felt there was a story and wanted to know did he just climb steep terrain to stand where he was? Where was he going? Why was he alone? She said my piece reminded her of Walter Phillips, a deceased canadian artist. She said to continue on my journey and to paint what I love because it shows in my work!!!! :D

After the gallery talk about 30 of us went to the Grille 459 which was just about a 1/2 block down the street from the exhibition. It was awesome. It couldn't have been a nicer venue, the staff was AMAZING, the food was divine (Mediterranean Chicken - pesto excrusted chicken with kalamata olives and feta served with grilled asparagus, White Cheddar mashed potatoes and ended with a Lava Cake! YUM

It was such a great evening to be spent with friends and fellow watermedia artists! I can't wait for next year! :D


debwardart said...

Good for you! It's good to be an active participant in a group. I did "all of the above" for 3 years at the Cincinnati Art Club ViewPoint show and, like you, learned a lot and met a lot of people. Not sure I'd do it again, though! Congrats on your win (I was not allowed to enter the 3 years I ran the show).

Kim Shirley said...

Thanks Deb! :) That's awesome you got to do all that too. It's such a neat experience. I'm excited for next year because I'll know what I'm doing! haha!

Mom said...

So very excited for you my dear. I am so proud of what you do. You only seem to get better. Keep up the wonderful work.