Sunday, 23 March 2014

The pity party and the retirement card

So, my orang-utan painting didn't get short-listed for the Wildlife Artist of the Year competition.  I got an email on Friday and had a little flutter of anticipation and excitement followed by a thud of crashing disappointment as I read the words thanking me for taking part and telling me how very high the standard of entrants was but that unfortunately on this occasion I had been unsuccessful.  

I contemplated having a Kevin style tantrum and ripping up all my art pads, breaking all my paintbrushes in half, kneeling on the ground with my arms raised to the skies and wailing 'WHY?'. I contemplated just stopping painting forever because, really, WHAT.WAS.THE.POINT.  

What I actually did was to allow myself a half hour pity party during which I will admit to shedding a frustrated and disappointed tear or two and then I reminded myself that it was just one competition and that even if I didn't get short-listed this year, there was always next year by which time I'd be a whole year more experienced in painting animals in gouache.  My recent exercise in being grateful what for I do have, instead of moaning about what I don't, kicked in and I reminded myself that worse things happen at sea and focussed on all the good stuff in my life instead. 

To reinforce the fact, I took the dogs to our favourite beach and had an invigorating walk along the shore reminding myself that just over a year ago I'd still have been stuck in an office in Belfast working full time instead of living in our dream location having so much more free time to paint.

Other good things that happened this week were having my seal cub painting as the first poster boy for the Association of Animal Artists countdown to the exhibition posters and being asked to create a retirement card for the Scottish SPCA Inspector over in Orkney.

I've only met him once but I was given a couple of photos of him and this is what I came up with.

Retirement card caricature in ink and gouache

It's been a really long time since I did any caricatures and it was fun to do something a little whimsical again. I hope it brings a smile to his face. 

21 comments:

  1. This is absolutely brilliant. Seriously impressive. You have one amazing talent, Nic. Wow!

    ReplyDelete
  2. arh, never mind, hope the beach walk cheered you up a bit. The caricature is brilliant!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think you are very brave just to go in these competitions, the judges are not always right it's just their choice. We have a big art competition over here and they give a Packers Prize it's never the same as the judges also they now have voting by the public voting now.
    Merle.........

    ReplyDelete
  4. it is amazing, beautiful, funny an perfect, you are an amazing artist, don't be discouraged,

    ReplyDelete
  5. it is amazing, beautiful, funny an perfect, you are an amazing artist, don't be discouraged,

    ReplyDelete
  6. So sorry about your disappointing news, for what it's worth, I think your artwork is amazing and I just love your caricature!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sorry you didn't get short-listed....oh the life of an artist, we take these little knock downs and bounce back again. Oh boy did you bounce as in B - o - U - n - C -e.....with this GREAT caricature card...it's BRILLIANT...well done and I'm sure the recipient will be thrilled with it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sorry you didn't get picked for THIS competition but there will be others. You are a great artists and I enjoy stopping by to see what you are up to. Your caricature sure brought a smile on my face. The way you did the inspector's smile is contagious and each of the animal's eyes are so expressive. Great fun!

    ReplyDelete
  9. That caricature is so much fun, their eyes glow and there's so much happiness and joy coming from that page. He'll LOVE it! So sorry to hear about your beautiful painting not being short-listed. I've had it happen to me quite a few times and it's really not a nice feeling and makes you doubt everything you do. But, you don't know how close you were, so please don't let it discourage you. Just keep on painting girl!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love that you had a little pity party, too often I ignore the hurt until it becomes something bigger, but I am sure it wont be long until you are short listed + a winner - you paintings are stunning!

    ReplyDelete
  11. sorry about your disappointment about the exhibit Nic. I would have felt and done the same as you- feel it, release it , and move on to the next thing. A walk with your pups on the beach sounds perfect to me! Love your caricature-really-is there anything you can't do?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Judges are not always right and as I am sure you know being an artist is more about the need to create rather than the rewards. Saying that I think your work is hugely commercial, I can imagine the images being greetings cards, calendars... this list of possibilities is huge. Competitions don't ensure commercial success. The card you made is wonderful, I can't do cartoon depictions, I have tried in the past and failed miserably. You have shared another talent with us! It seems as you say that you have so much to be thankful for after your re-location although my oldest daughter went to Queens uni in Belfast and I often visited her and always enjoyed my visits to Northern Ireland. ( They were always fuelled with large amounts of Guinness! ;) )

    ReplyDelete
  13. The thing is Nic, you ENTERED! That is fabulous in its self and you must continue to enter competitions.
    It doesn't mean your entry wasn't brilliant, only that the particular judge liked something else. So, enter next year. And you have had a wonderful year in other ways as you say, so now you have time to do even more painting. Dont lose heart - you are very talented! And I love this one - it did make me smile :0)

    ReplyDelete
  14. You're retirement card is FABULOUS. I love all the animals around the man including the bird on the sheep's ear. So clever and fun.

    Sooooooo sorry you weren't shortlisted into the wildlife show. (they don't know what they're missing!) and it sounds like you handled your disappointment well. What a grown-up. :) Your work is marvelous and anyone who sees your work knows that. Keep entering those contests/exhibits.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I know it's tough and that we don't always make it into every show or exhibit (I've been rejected a few times and accepted shortly thereafter in something more fitting to my style). I should have more pity parties. lol With you, you just know it's not for lack of talent, obviously, so you realize it can be hit or miss and doesn't necessary have anything to do with your abilities. I ADORE your caricature and I'm sure they'll love it! You can do anything, my friend. I have so much faith in your work and work ethic. You are the complete package!

    ReplyDelete
  16. well you can't win them all Nic and you have had loads of successes, so congratulations my friend. Love the card you painted, so fab. Hugs Annette x

    http://nettysartadventures.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  17. Problem is, the judges have a specific agenda, and it's not a question of your painting's worth but whether it matches the image he/she has in mind. If I were the judge, then yours would be hanging in the best position, and I'm sure many of think the same way. Not much of a consolation perhaps, but at least you know your work is appreciated.
    You are so talented in so many different ways, the variety and beauty of your work is amazing. I love your caricature/humour card. I'm sure that will be framed and on the wall by the fortunate recipient. Congrats on bouncing back so well.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Love the caricature! :) I'm sorry your painting didn't make it and I understand how you must've felt. I've almost given up on the whole thing myself. But you're way too talented to stop painting.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Nic, love the card you created. I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh, Your caricature is wonderful! I'd be hardpressed to come up with something for a request like that!
    I hear your frustration. Your orangutan painting is no less for the rejection as it is absolutely beautiful, Nic. Competition and art is so getting out there and opening ourselves for rejection and I don't know how to console you other than to say that I have a firm belief that each and every creation is worthy and interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh I love your honesty! I've been there...can identify! I know you know but will say it anyway 'cause it always helps me to hear it: the rejection of the orangutan is less a commentary on your art than it is a reflection of the jury's taste/agenda/vision. But I know it feels very personal - so much of who we are goes into out art...

    That caricature card is amazing! You have such versatile ability n your art- from whimsy to realistic- you can do it all! The cherries below...wow!

    Oh, and btw, your haircut is totally cute and adorable. It makes me want to go pixie too...I told my hubby to take one last look at these unruly curls... they're about to be gone.:-)

    ReplyDelete

Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...