Sunday, February 11, 2007

Received Merit Award at the International Juried Show

I left Friday morning for the 6 1/2 hour drive to the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. Didn't have time to get the CD player fixed, but got some things done on the 1993 vehicle to pass inspection. Apparently it wasn't enough, though, as the driver side tire wheel bearings broke apart, forcing me to have to turn off the road. Luckily, I had AAA, and a tow truck brought us to a home mechanic who spent 3 hours working to torch the old bearings off the spindle, and putting a new set on. That was on the way back to VA. We made the trip to the Opening Reception. It was Classy. The parking lot stayed full as newcomers were flooding in as others left. We parked down the road and got there about 6:30pm, 30 minutes late. I was given a name tag to this critically acclaimed international show that sported "Merit Winner." I went thru the exhibit and missed my pieces the first time. Then I noticed them, the Merit winner was hung under my other work. They are displayed directly adjacent to the Best in Show Winner, a reproduced graphite rendition of an old photograph. The works chosen were muted works of oranges and greys, and of course the black and white work of mine. The opening was a success. I was officially presented with an award for the first time in my life for art. A handshake, an enveloped certificate with a $200.00 check, and the resident photographer capturing each award winner with a smile. It was worth the 13 plus hours o the road. Plus I exchanged cards with a few other artists. My small fraternity has expanded and for 7 weeks my art will have a chance to shine and greet collectors, dealers, curators, and critics. A winner out of 1800 entries worldwide. The world needs to see how a little drawing made it this far. I will promote it until it gets coverage that can inspire others.

Monday, February 05, 2007

My drawing "Samurai" wins Merit Award!

I was notified Feb. 1st, that I had won a Merit Award @ the 21st International Juried Show. Three were given, plus a Best in Show, and a Photography and a Watercolor award. So, my little, black and white drawing (that's been through 20 plus years of style developement), has competed against large paintings and sculptures worldwide, and won something. Germany, This is my Lucky Break. I knew it would be. I put an image of the drawing that won on my dashboard...before it won. I would pull it to my eye as shards of light hit it. It made me feel good. Really good. I felt I had won a battle. I did. I bet Goliath. Nineteen years ago I submitted to 2 International Competitions in New York and received a Certificate of Excellence for Drawing and for Works on Paper. That was when I was still stuck on this one image which I was compelled to draw until it had reached its dynamic conclusion. I actually felt that this was it. That I could not go any further. But something made me do so. I held on to two lines I learned in the factory while mass-producting doors: The more you do something,the better you get & Practice makes perfect. It made me nuts. I kept drawing, thinking I'd reach a breakthrough. It got so bad, that I considered the effects giving up would have on me. What did I have without this drawing? I had nothing. A husk of a person. A shell. A vast emptiness. Worse than the death of art - the death of an artist who carried a torch, who had a pumping heart, a soulful voice, and a soaring spirit. Paper saved me. I cried on it like a million sheets of kleenex. Year after year after year. I don't think anybody thought I was anything but completely insane. Why? Because I held on to a dream. Because the blue sky beckoned me. Because I believed that the world was my oyster. That days could be Banner days