This past Saturday, I received a terrific surprise. I attended a demonstration and reception in Frederick, Maryland, for the national juried exhibition "Shades of Pastel."
I have been fortunate to have my work in many national exhibitions. I have also won awards, which has always been a pleasant surprise. During the receptions for these shows, the awards are presented, and everyone involved is delighted to see when their friends receive accolades. I suspect that we all wait to see if our names may be called. After all, that would be human nature. During the awards ceremony, I listened while names were called for each award. When the announcer got to the Best in Show award, I admit to thinking, "Well, better luck next time." In fact, I was not paying complete attention when the name was announced for the work that received Best in Show. Then I realized, "Wait, wait, was that MY name?" Well, yes it was! So, my painting, "Facing West — On Stage" received the Best in Show at the "Shades of Pastel" exhibition on Saturday, November 2. There were 63 other very deserving pieces in that show, so I couldn't be more proud. You can see the painting below.
Making me even more thrilled was that the judge for this show was Jimmy Wright, an artist whose work I have admired for years. Prior to the reception, Mr. Wright presented a demonstration to those fortunate enough to be there. I was transfixed during this demonstration because Wright's work is different from many of the pastel artists that are producing work presently. He has no interest in replicating a subject; his interest is to interpret that subject based on gesture and feeling. He works very intuitively, and it was a kick to see him pull out a dried sunflower (one of his favored subjects) and go to work. I have included an example of his work for you to enjoy. To see more of Mr. Wright's art, you may visit his website here: