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.