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Friday, May 4, 2018

Friends helping friends

We’ve all done our best. Now we sit back and wait.

Not what you like to see an hour before you're handing in.
I opened my box of frames when I arrived last weekend, but I didn’t take out the items and unpack them; they were still in the manufacturer’s packaging. Anyway, I like the US post office as a shipper, so I wasn’t worried.

That meant I was blindsided on Thursday morning when all three frames turned out to have cracked corners. I called Jane Chapin to ask her if there was a Michaels in Santa Fe. Instead, she directed me to a shelf to the left of the door in her own studio. It was such a smooth solution that I barely had time to worry. It will save me money on the return shipping, since she can just pop out any unsold work and mail it back to me in a padded envelope.

Occasionally someone will challenge my characterization of these events as ‘competitions.’ They prefer to think of them as sales events. But whenever there are prizes, there is competition. Unlike ice-skating, however, there’s very little knee-capping in the plein air world. For one thing, it’s a small community. Even if we’re not friends yet, we have friends in common.

Apple tree swing, by Carol L. Douglas, courtesy Kelpie Gallery. I'm gonna try the Pecos apple tree again today.
One of the painters at this event has Parkinson’s. (How she paints as beautifully as she does is beyond me.) She is a tiny thing, and she has been helping me up and down steps all week. She’s appointed herself my keeper. We were at a party in town Wednesday when she realized that she’d forgotten her meds. If you know Parkinson’s, you know that missing a dose is like falling off a cliff. Now I’ve appointed myself to remind her about her meds. We just met on Friday night, but now we’re friends helping friends.

Yesterday I intended to spend my spare time painting an apple tree down the road. However, I spent it unsuccessfully trying to file the claim for my damaged frames. This morning my husband, back in Rockport, managed to file it online.

This view from my studio window has gone to live in New Mexico.
As for which paintings I submitted, it ended up being El camino hacia el pueblo, La casa de los abuelitos,and Castigando del caballo muerto. I probably received twenty messages about the choices after my post, with a heavy contingent favoring Dry Wash, but I’d already filled out the paperwork.

Every one of these messages were from professional painters and gallerists. The takeaway message is that even at a high level of expertise, ‘good,’ ‘great,’ etc. are subjective. That’s true for the juror as well as for anyone else. We’ve all done our best. Now we sit back and wait.


Rebecca Gorrell said...

I would have picked those three, also. Can you write a post sometime about what you do with the second-tier paintings you make? Do you just scrape them? give away to unsuspecting strangers? donate, unsigned, to charity thrift shops? Let them accumulate and breed in a dark basement?

Corinne said...

AWWW...I love this post about your newfound Plein air Friend who assisted you up and down stairs, while she herself has disabilities to deal with. Isn't God good! <3 Your work is wonderful...but I really was impressed with your first posted one, with the brilliant cloudy skies! I am mesmerized by the swirling blue/violet loveliness! Hope you are happy with your results and the pick they make! Let us know the results! <3 Happy Trails dear one! <3