Fair Update

Rainbow elephants

Two weeks ago was the Montana state fair. I entered four pieces in to the fair. “Rainbow Elephants” and “Star Gazing” were the watercolor paintings I submitted into the professional division. Since the fair didn’t have a professional drawing division I entered two soft pastel paintings into the general drawing division. I entered the “Delicate Arch” piece into the surrealism category and the “Pink skies over Montana” into the realism category.

Star Gazing – Watercolor

The first day of the fair was the artist open house. This is when all the artists participating can go see all the entries without fighting the crowds. I was originally planning on using this as a fun date with my husband while getting a babysitter for the kiddos. However, a change in dates for a family party caused us to have to leave town right after going to the open house. Lets just say bringing a toddler and two preshoolers to an art show is NOT my idea of a good time. It was about as relaxing as getting a pap smear. My oldest child did great and enjoyed seeing all the pieces being exhibited. The younger two liked touching everything and suffered from a condition, my Grandpa termed, “Painted on ears.” Thank goodness for the bench near the appetizer table that kept them semi occupied. This cut short my mingling and socializing time but I was able to meet a few local artists and see some impressive artwork. Some of the work that really caught my eye were landscape scenes created with dyed wool and other textiles. I have no idea how she created her pieces but they were magical. I really wish I could have written down the name of the artist because it was absolutely stunning.

Delicate Arch
Delicate Arch – Pastel 

While there I found out that I won First place in the three categories. My Elephant painting won first for a surrealism watercolor painting in the professional division. The two pastel paintings also won first place in their respective categories. I was completely shocked that I won in each category I entered especially, when competing against other professional artists. This was my first time competing with other professional because last year’s state fair (in Idaho) I participated in the amateur division.

Pink sky over montana copy
Pink Skies Over Montana – Pastel 

This was such a good reminder to me to not let self-doubt and fear hold me back. Every so often I hear the whisperings of self doubt come into my mind saying things like “your not good enough.” “They wont like your paintings.” Etc. I usually shake them off pretty well by reminding my self of the truth. I have sold paintings and won awards so people obviously like my work. Even more importantly I love my work. I paint for the happiness I feel when I get in the flow/zen of creating and the pride I feel when its completed it. When I walk into my house and see my beautiful artwork hanging on my walls I am filled with joy. This fair was good reminder to just shake those fears away and not let them control life.



Ps. I didn’t get a picture of me at the fair because the kids kept us so busy.  The joys of motherhood!

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