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.
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.
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.
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!