Monday, February 28, 2011

Missing the Point

I'm a member of the Colored Pencil Society of America, a great group of talented artists that focuses on the medium of (what else?) colored pencil. The work of some of these artists leaves me absolutely breathless.

It quickly became a goal of mine to have artwork accepted to their annual international exhibit. Along with the exhibit, the accepted pieces are also showcased in the CPSA membership magazine, called "To the Point". Because I am not usually in a location to attend the annual exhibit, that issue has become a highlight in my year.

Somehow, that goal took on the flavor of an "ultimate" goal. Once that happened, I would "really" be an artist and would have professional confirmation and would cruise ahead with my other art goals and become famous and never step in a puddle or have to smell a bad odor again in my life. (Or something like that.) It became a BIG DEAL.

So last year, I once again submitted a piece to them and - wonder of wonders - it was accepted! I was thrilled!

Or would have been if I'd known about it.

Unfortunately, a mis-communication on the entry site meant that I did not see the notice of my acceptance. I found out about my acceptance when the curator of the exhibit contacted me via the CPSA co-ordinator to find out why my artwork hadn't arrived at the gallery. The exhibit opened TOMORROW, and I was 300 miles from my studio.

Needless to say, I was devastated for a time. "Aaaaggggghhhhh!" was the sentiment that kept running through my head. But eventually my husband interrupted my plans for hara-kiri and I decided I had a lesson to learn. And I eventually also decided to share it so hopefully someone else can learn from my mistake besides me:

When you're entering something, make sure you find all the information!

Entry deadline, entry requirements, date writers/artists will be notified, HOW they will be notified, when winners will be announced, etc. If you enter online, make sure the image/document is attached. Ask if there's something that doesn't seem to have gone through correctly. Make a note on the calendar and pay attention!

That's about it. It can always be hoped that an exhibit or competition will keep us updated and notified as events happen. But ultimately the onus is on us to be as responsible for our own work as we possibly can.

So when the exhibit issue of To the Point arrived a couple weeks ago, it was a bittersweet moment. But I intend to try again. And we'll see what happens.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A full band (Josh Wilson)

I've mentioned before how much I enjoy creativity. And seeing people be creative in their own field is doubly exciting if it's not a field I typically work in. So here's a snippet from a very talented guy, Josh Wilson. I got to see him in concert last weekend and and love some of the unique ways he blends his many musical talents with technology to give it that little extra spice. (I'd also recommend that you watch the video on YouTube. There are actually six Joshes in the video but it won't size properly for some reason.)

How do you suppose an author could make use of multiple appearances? :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Winsome words

This week found me grinning over some tasty phrases and delightful thoughts. Here's a few of my favorites:

"impromptu wedding" - It was Valentine's Day after all

"gleeful preposterousness " - actually used in a review of one of my books. Favorite review to date.

"unbiased ratings" - is this actually humanly possible?

"Dyspepsi-Cola" - apparently there's a role playing game that considers this a usable item.

"valetudinarian " - sounds classier than hypochondriac, don't you think?

How about you? Do you keep your ears open for some brain ticklers?

Monday, February 14, 2011

A painting's progress (Olivia "Livvy" Schemanski)

I have always maintained that I learn more in watching an artist at work than any number of lessons or self-help books can give. So I was very excited that a friend of mine, 'Livvy' Schemanski, put together a video that showed the progress of one of her gorgeous wildlife paintings. How exciting to see this painting come to life on the canvas!

I have stood in front of this painting many times and marveled at her skill. Olivia has a depth of knowledge in the art realm that is simply astounding. Technical skill, creative insights, a wealth of experience, a fun sense of humor and a generous heart to go along with it have taught me a lot since I was fortunate enough to meet her years ago. Enjoy!

(If you want to see some of my work in progress, you can find it at my Val's Imagination blog. Not as dramatic but hopefully helpful all the same.)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Robert Gray: Memory & the 'Smell of Books'

I will confess that I am one of those that enjoys the smell of books. Real, paper, bound-with- glue books. Leather and hand-stitching books. So this, of course, caught my interest:

Robert Gray: Memory & the 'Smell of Books'

I love that there are those that can categorize the odors in and on books. Each classification brought a distinct aroma with it. That smell of 'literary dust' is an intrinsic part of literacy to me. And I love the link with other people that feel the same way.

(But please don't bother to buy me a can of "Smell of Books". I thank you.)