Sunday, August 28, 2011

Orange you glad...

I didn't paint another flower? Ha!

So I decided that it would be fun and good practice to try painting faster on a smaller scale. I got a new book of watercolor paper that I am really excited about, too excited about. It's a 6x9 Strathmore pad of paper. What I like about it is that it was made at a paper mill that purchased 100% wind renewable energy. I don't usually go out of my way to be "green", but when it is as easy as picking up a different pad of paper, I'm all for it. Especially when I am not advanced enough to notice or care about a change in paper.

I was turned on to a website called paint my photo by a fellow blogger. It's a great resource for photos of things you want to paint that you can't take a photo of yourself. I've found pictures of things that I didn't even know I wanted to paint, but sure enough, I do now! I was just checking it out to see what it was about when I stumbled upon this picture:

I love this photo and immediately knew I wanted to paint it. I loved the simplicity if it, the shapes of the leaves, the limited amount of color in it, and that the background will allow me to be all loosey-goosey with the paint.

 Here is the progression:


I told myself that I was going to finish in an hour. It ended up taking me about an hour and a half. I don't really like how it turned out. The background is too busy and the orange is over-worked. But that's okay, it was just an exercise in speed, after all. Maybe if I get bored one day I'll come back to it and fix some stuff, but that's doubtful.

Afterthought: I should have made that orange much bigger...10/22/11

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Results Are In...

So the county fair was just how I remembered it: every entry got a ribbon and about a quarter of them were first place ribbons. It seems like there were a lot more first place ribbons in the fine arts section than any of the other sections. I don't know how they judge it but I suppose it worked in my favor:

The lilies got a first place ribbon and a high blue ribbon. I'm not really sure what high blue means, I think it is one abve first place. I think high blue probably would have been the equivalent of an honorable mention or 3rd place in a normal competition.

The poppies also got a first place ribbon (hard to see in the crappy picture). Go figure! Two first place ribbons in the same category? Ha!

So I think this means that if I enter the state fair I need to enter the lilies. It's bigger and did better in the county fair so I think it would give me a better chance at being juried in at the state fair.

Monday, August 8, 2011

County Fair Entries

The Salt Lake County Fair is next week and I entered two paintings in the fine arts competition. I entered:

the lilies and...

the poppies. I put them in a white frame and I quite like it.

No surprise there! One of the requirements to enter is that the painting was completed in the last three years. These are the only two watercolor paintings I have finished the the past three years. Wow. That makes me sad! I need to get my butt in gear!

Entering a painting in a competition and sharing my work has always been nerve-wracking for me. But I'm making myself do it because I figure what good is a painting if it is just going to sit in a portfolio in my room? It would be a waste of time and effort to pour so much hard work into a painting and never share it with anyone, especially when I love watercolor so much. And that's a big part of the reason I started my blog, too.

The Utah State Fair is next month and I would like to enter a painting but I am more hesitant about that competition than the county fair. I entered a painting in the county fair when I was in high school and won a first place ribbon (for my stargazer lily painting, my only first place ribbon to date). I was excited about it until I looked around at all the other entries and saw that a lot of other pieces got first place ribbons as well. Like way too many people. It seemed like your painting had to be really not good to not get a first place ribbon, like an "everyone is a winner" kind of thing. So, yeah, it was disappointing at the time but it makes it a lot easier to enter this time around because I know I probably won't be disappointed.

The state fair is another story. I have never entered the fine arts competition at the state fair. I read about the competition and you can be juried out, which makes me really nervous. I attended last year and there were a lot of beautiful entries. I feel like I would have a good chance of being juried out. If I entered a painting in the state fair my goal would just be to not be juried out. I suppose it wouldn't be the end of the world if I was juried out and it would give me something to work toward for next year.

The other issue is which painting to enter. You can enter two in the county fair, but only one in the state fair. I doubt that I will be able to finish another painting before the entry deadline, and I'm not sure that I would want to. I don't need another option to choose from. So, my decision is between the poppies and the lilies. I was leaning toward the lilies until I framed the poppies. Now I just don't know which to pick. Any suggestions?