One Last Look

One Last Look, a watercolour portrait

One Last Look was a painting I recently finished after having a slight doubt in my artistic abilities. 

For a while now I have painted pictures that I thought would appeal to the public with a selling point in mind. Each art prize I entered had been largely focused on what would sell rather than what would win a prize. 

Earlier this year I entered an art prize in a nearby town, which was surrounded by hype and grandeur, and we had to submit our art work.  On the entry form it stated that if not chosen our work could be nominated to go into an Extension exhibition. I wasn’t particularly interested in entering this exhibition but a friend talked me into it, so I entered two paintings, both which were my usual style of the bright rainbow colouring, featuring emus. 

My friend then informed me that around the local circles this exhibition was being touted at the reject exhibition, which we though was rather comical. My work didn’t make the original exhibition but was allowed to enter the “Extension” aka Reject exhibition. 

Ok, that didn’t bother me too much, I am under no illusion that my work is better than anyone else’s, but I believe my work is of a high standard and I am good at what I do. I have been painting pet portraits for nearly 20 years now. 

All was well until the opening, A few careless words threw me into doubt about my work and I had a real crisis of confidence… the mayor opening stated “This exhibition is for those who didn’t make the cut” I was actually a little insulted by her words, and when I looked at other artists around me it seemed I wasn’t alone! My friend nearly choked on her finger food! 

There were several really good pieces by well known artists around the exhibition circuit, and quite a few what I would categorise as student/novice works, so it was a well-rounded exhibition. I am aware that art is sometimes seen as “Elitist” and seems to be getting more and more so, especially in the exhibitions and art prizes these days. Gone are the days of just entering and displaying, now some ask for artist statements and CVS! 

I decided to enter an art prize that I have entered, and sold at, on previous occasions, in Dalwallinu in Western Australia.  So I painted “One Last Look” as a statement of This is me, this is what I do, I don’t mind if you don’t want to buy it, but it is ME… and a very good version of ME. 

My Therapist. A watercolour study

My second entry into the Dalwallinu Art prize is “My Therapist” a watercolour study of my motorbike. It is a 2016 Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe and is my pride and joy, I have painted this in acrylics on canvas but didn’t want to have to display that at the art prize, as items displayed often have to be for sale, so I painted a smaller version  that shows what I am capable of doing.

I enjoy the challenge of painting chrome work.  The detail in the spokes and engine leaves me with double vision, but the challenge was to prove I could do it and do it well enough to be judged on its merit. 

In future I will be painting what I want to paint for these art prizes, something that reflects on who I am as an artist.