“You win some you lose some.”
Since moving to Greenville in 2008, when it comes to my art, I feel like it’s been more heavily weighted to the “lose some” side.
So much so, that I almost didn’t participate in Greenville’s Metropolitan Arts Council’s FLAT OUT UNDER PRESSURE competition that took place on January 7 & 8th. But on the last day to apply, I sent in my application and decided to give it my best effort.
The contest was basically this: Start and finish a painting all within 24 hours.
Then on Saturday afternoon a judge from the Art Department of Clemson University looked at all 42 entries and choose the top 8 winners. Those who won received awards ranging from $300 – $1,000 + a trip to Italy, and all 8 will have their artwork printed on a recycle bin in downtown Greenville.
All 42 of us very-tired-artists, our families and friends, and lots of art patrons (including an enormous GREAT DANE who was mingling with the large crowd) met back on Saturday night at the MAC gallery for a reception and the awards ceremony.
My painting wasn’t chosen. I wasn’t at all surprised. But that didn’t make it any less disappointing.
The good news is this: I’ve spent the past several months doing some soul-searching regarding my art “business.” This 24-hour painting marathon helped to solidify some of the conclusions I’ve come to.
Number 1. I love to paint. And when I’m painting a piece that simply reflects the amazing beauty of God’s Creation, it brings me (and even some others) great joy.
Number 2. My idea of success HAS been, to eventually become as well-known as Thomas Kinkade. (OK, so maybe this is a little unrealistic.) I’ve been re-evaluating my definition of success as an artist these past few months. My goal for this year is to stop planning and trying to control my future to the extremes I tend to take this, but to instead just enjoy making some more beautiful art.
Number 3. I am not always going to understand why things aren’t turning out the way I want them to. But I’m going choose to TRUST God in all of this. His ways are bigger (and better) than mine. Maybe all he wants for me is to be a really good painter that has a calm and balanced life. Maybe I don’t need to be so driven to “succeed.”
If you’re interested in seeing photos of my 24-hour painting adventure, watch the >4 minute slide show I made. (Be sure to press the HD button in the upper right corner if you choose to enlarge the vidoe.)
I’m so glad I took all these photos. They are a good reminder to ME of the fun and joy I had in creating this painting. It was exhausting, but a fun and rewarding challenge!
The song you’ll hear in the slide show is from the CD called “Come Weary Saints” by Sovereign Grace Music. I thought the lyrics to this song really captured how I feel, despite the disappointment of not having my painting chosen as a “winner.”
JOY IN MY MORNING
Words and Music by Pete Gagnon.
© 2008 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music (ASCAP)/Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP).
Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Ministries.
From Come Weary Saints. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.
Administration by Integrity Music.