I spent all morning yesterday sorting out three paintings to enter into a local art competition. The pictures were already painted and framed, I just had to sort out the details for the stipulations for entering them in the competition – on the back of the painting had to be the name of artist (I knew that bit!), media and price (I always do that anyway), and contact details (does that mean just a phone number, or address as well? – ok, I’ll do both), and on the front there had to be all the details again, written on a label, attached with string, so that the label can hang down infront of the painting. Ok, I did that. Then I had to put cardboard protective corners on each painting, and as the bloody things wouldn’t stay on, had to attach them with masking tape, wrap all three paintings in bubble wrap, put them in my carrying bag, and fill out the form. Name, address, names of paintings, media, price and size – what on earth do they want size for? And in inches or centimetres? I work in inches, but I bet they work in centimetres, and I presume they mean the outside size of the frame, and not the size of the actual painting inside the frame? Find a tape measure, measure them, and put the figures on the form. I still can’t think why they want the measurements – they’ve got the paintings, what difference does having the measurements figures make? Pack the whole lot into the car and drive to the venue (a new one for me, although I’ve entered this competition before, it was at a different place last year). I found it easily enough, and handed my paintings in, paid the hanging fees, they didn’t want the bloody cardboard protective corners I’d so carefully applied, so I had to remove them all again and got the bloody masking tape stuck to all the bubble wrap, had a brief chat and came away again. So now I’ve got to wait til the end of the week to see whether they’ve been accepted, or rejected, in which case I’ll have to go and collect any rejects next weekend, and the ones that have been accepted will be hung and judged along with the others in due course. It’d be nice to win the top prize, or even any prize. Last year I didn’t win anything. This year I’ve got different pictures, and I rate a couple of them, the third might be a bit weird for the judges, but we’ll see. None of them are erotic. I was supremely pissed off last year when I saw one of the paintings that won a “distinction” prize. As it was an absolute and exact copy of another artists work. She runs local art workshops and paints in a particular style, and the subject matter is of a particular type, so very easily recognised, and the painting that got the award last year was a direct copy of her work, most probably done on one of the workshops. So was I angry? Yes, I bloody was!! That my artwork which was unique, individual and not plagiarised, didn’t win against a direct copy of someone elses work. I almost said something at the time to the organisers, but thought it would look like “sour grapes” on my part, so didn’t. Do I wish I had? Maybe.
But, as far as winning is concerned – I won the top prize in a local art exhibition a few years ago, and that was a brilliant experience. There were three categories, and an overall top prize, which the judge judged on “If there was a fire, and I had to run out of the building with just one painting, which one would it be?” – and that was the prize I won, with one of my tiger portraits “Burning bright”. Infact the judge liked it so much, he bought it from me afterwards, which doubly made my day – I sang at the top of my voice all the way home!!!!!!! Yay!!!!!