Thursday, 8 September 2016

The illusion of water - Fine Art Seen competition entry


Fine Art Seen - the illusion of water+still life+river rocks+pebbles+vibrant contemporary art+welly boots+wellies+Nicola McLean
'Stones in the river' - acrylic on canvas 30cm x 30cm

Camera phones are great, aren't they? I mean, I have an actual camera that's really pretty good but I tend to use it for photographing my paintings to put online, I rarely take it out with me when we go for walks because the camera on my phone is pretty good too and perfect for when inspiration strikes and you just want to snap a quick impression of a scene. 

When I’m on the beach with the dogs, I’ll snap away on my phone if I see anything that inspires me usually because of the colours or the reflection of light – mostly the sky or the sea but sometimes I’m lucky enough to see an otter or seal although then I usually just end up with a blurred smear that’s supposed to be the otter or seal as they disappear quicker than I can press the button.


still life+river rocks+pebbles+vibrant contemporary art+welly boots+wellies+Nicola McLean


A few weeks ago, I was wandering along by the Halladale river that flows down to the North Atlantic on Strathy beach and happened to be wearing a rather funky pair of wellies my sister had given me. I was looking down and was quite taken both with my wellies and the colourful stones on which I was standing. So I snapped a quick photo.

Originally my feet were at the bottom of the photo as I was looking down as I took it but I liked it better the other way round for the painting. 


stones in the river+photo reference+Nicola McLean


Fast forward a couple of months and I received an email about an art competition being run by Fine Art Seen, one of the online galleries that I’m a member of, with the theme ‘the illusion of water’. I remembered the photo and decided to have a go at painting it because the water I’d been standing in that day was so shallow that it was really only the reflections on the ripples that would indicate there was any water there at all – which seemed pretty appropriate for the theme.



still life+river rocks+pebbles+vibrant contemporary art+welly boots+wellies+Nicola McLean


Unfortunately, as seems to be the way nowadays with online competitions, the method by which they decide the top 50 paintings is to have an open vote for the public to choose which paintings they like best. I’m not a fan of art competitions being judged in this way because I feel that it turns the whole thing into a popularity contest which sort of ignores the actual quality of the art work in favour of how many friends the artist has which is crap for me because I don’t have that many friends! Maybe if I had a gazillion followers on Facebook/Instagram/Wherever I might like this idea more but, honestly, I'd rather the art was just judged on its own merits.


river rocks+colourful still life art+contemporary art+Nicola McLean+the illusion of water


However, much as I genuinely hate the online lobbying that this sort of competition voting necessitates, the first prize is £1000 worth of art supplies and winning that trumps my distaste of asking begging folks to take a couple of minutes out of their busy day to vote for me  so, here goes - PLEASE VOTE FOR ME(this is why I could never be a politician - all that campaigning for votes makes every inch of my introverted self cringe!) But, seriously, I’d really, really appreciate it. 

If I get enough votes to make it through to the top 50 they then have actual judges to decide on the winner and runners up - that may go in my favour or it may not but at least they'll judge the artwork and not the popularity of the artist! 


river rocks+pebbles in the river+reflection of water+still life art+contemporary art+Nicola McLean


Selected works will also be on exhibition in London in 2017. Fine Art Seen will donate a percentage of any commission earned on the sale of artwork during the exhibition, to UNICEF whose mission is to eliminate malnutrition by 2030 and who work to improve sanitation and hygiene of water sources in Africa. 

  
work in progress+artist at work+art studio+river rock painting+still life+Nicola McLean


Thanks so much if you do vote for my painting. By the way, the title is also the title of a song by Carrie Newcomer which I came across on YouTube when looking for song lyrics that mentioned stones and rivers! I'd never heard it before but it's really rather nice!



39 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful painting. I have voted. At first I was confused. Ohhh heck at first???? LOL I found your painting, clicked on it and nothing happened. I was expecting a vote tab or having to put in my name and email. I clicked again and noticed a small dot at the side of your painting. I am guessing that means my vote was taken. OK I click several times so you may have more than one vote from me today. Yayya. I hope you win.

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  2. I voted for this gorgeous painting. Best of luck Nic!!

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  3. Voted for the best one there ... which is yours, of course

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  4. Tried to vote but not sure as like Nicole I found it difficult to see any voting button. A dot whizzed past really quick but don't know if that was it registering. Great painting though Nic. Wonderfully interesting perspective and take on the theme.

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  5. You have my vote!! this is a wonderful painting!

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  6. And: offcourse I voted for you 💗👍

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  7. And: offcourse I voted for you 💗👍

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  8. Fantastic art, good luck in the competition, you have my vote! Happy PPF, hugs, Valerie

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  9. I have just popped over and voted... I will get phants and Sinus to vote as well... it is an awesome painting Nic... I love it and thanks for including the photo as well... amazing!!!

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  10. Stunning Art. Great colours.
    Wishing good luck to competiyion 😃

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  11. The colors of those rocks are amazing. Your piece really captures that. Glad you showed the photo that inspired such a great piece. Hugs-Erika

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  12. Luv this gorgeous piece, packed with sea-tones
    Happy PPF

    much love...

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  13. This painting is just so much fun. The colors are gorgeous and it captures a moment most everyone can enjoy. Good luck and happy PPF


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  14. ooh this is so joyous!! Hope you win
    Happy PPF

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  15. Nic, there is no doubt in my mind that I would certainly vote your wellies painting as one of the top 50. This is so gorgeous with the happy colors. I agree with you that online voting for art is not a true vision of the best art, only a popularity contest, as you said.

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  16. Also, I wanted you to know that even though you don't have Macy's, you may have other stores that carry this ad. I think it was for Estee Lauder.

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  17. When I first saw the painting I thought you were standing on top of it. Which is ridiculous of course, but your jeans and those wellies look so realistic! And all those luscious colours, wow! It is beautiful and I voted for it. But after reading on Giggles blog last week I'm having my doubts about those online contests. Nevertheless, I do hope you get through to the next round!! If you don't, it won't be because of your painting!

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  18. An absolute winner! Stunning work...I love it!!I voted and I am crossing my fingers!! I am so loving all this new work and style of late! Such a joy to visit such a colourful blog! Wishing you all the best! You have to remember there is a ploy these sites get to draw people over to their pages to elevate the hits during the voting process. I wish things went on their own merit too!! Art is so subjective though....but I would put yours first.... because I truly love it!

    Hugs Giggles

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  19. This painting is so beautiful, as is the reference photo. I love the way you kept the integrity of the original photograph, while at the same time putting your own spin on the painting when it came to style.

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  20. Genius creation! I voted! Your painting is more than wonderful. Plus I want those Wellies:-)

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  21. Seeing the painting and the original photo, it always impresses me how your painting is so much more artistically beautiful.

    Have fun on Rte 66!

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  22. Seeing the painting and the original photo, it always impresses me how your painting is so much more artistically beautiful.

    Have fun on Rte 66!

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  23. Your painting makes the reference come alive!! Beautiful colors, it sings!! Good luck! Off to vote! and thank you so much for the kind words!

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  24. Of course you have my vote - I just did it! But I have to say, I genuinely liked yours the best anyway! I have everything crossed for you to WIN!!:0)

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  25. I really liked reading about your process of creating this piece of art. The outcome is luscious. Thank you for the lovely music as well. I will now go to vote. Best of luck!

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  26. Voted! Lovely painting. Good luck!

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  27. one of the most gorgeous piece of art i have ever seen!!!! good luck

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  28. It's beautiful, I think I voted for it, I tried to anyway...

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  29. There is some wonderful art in this contest, but I had no problem voting for you as I felt your art was exquisite and unique ... like a breath of fresh air among many more classic approaches. I hope you do win ... I am impressed with your ability to see the beauty in even the simplest of things. Beautifully done, Nicola ...

    Andrea @ Fronm The Sol

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  30. Awesome artwork!!! I love it and what a great idea. I already went out and voted for you and saved the link to see if I can vote tomorrow too! I have the shoes like your boots and I love them. I will always think of your artwork now when I where them and be looking down for some good inspiration! Good luck with your entry and it was great to see you spotlighted on PPF today! Hugs, Rasz

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  31. Voted for you twice! once with my art profile and second with my personal profile. :) Even if you don't win, your painting is amazing! I really enjoyed the song as well, though it made me a little melancholy. Both are beautiful.

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  32. So colourful and creative; a fantastic painting. Congrats on being featured at PPF.

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  33. This is fabulous! I love the colors. Hope your vacation goes well. I bet you're enjoying it to the fullest. :)

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  34. oh Nic, I agree, should be judged on merit,, not a popularity contest, this painting is amazing,, I have said it before, lol, I LOVE your style soooo much,, I have missed visiting,,

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  35. Hi Nic just stopped by to say I've been thinking about you! Hope all is well down your way! I know you were traveling for a bit... Still love this art! Take care dear lady!

    Hugs Giggles

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

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