Thursday, March 8, 2012

Art at the Arnold 2012

Finished painting on Saturday

This is the third year I've participated in Art at the Arnold.  Every year it is an adventure all its own.  You would think by the third year I'd get in some kind of groove, wouldn't you? 

Art at the Arnold is, after all, a competition.  In keeping with that, you hope to do some of your best work.  It's a lot of pressure!  Not only can you tank in front of the public.  Them, I tell myself, you will never see again.  But bombing out in front of your peers?  Ouch.  So why, every year, do I pick the hardest model to paint?  The one I am least prepared to paint? (slow learner?) The one with the least clothes and most skin (I don't get a chance to paint many dark skinned people and hardly ever in watercolor) and overly developed musculature!  Why didn't I pick the beautifully lit blond haired blue eyed cheer leader or the female martial arts model in full white uniform?

closeup of the model I tried to paint
Friday was a disaster.  That and my experience last year gave me doubts.  I went home very discouraged.  God bless my supportive husband.  He let me get it all out.  Then he pointed out that I can actually paint and that I let my own thoughts derail me every year.  And he stood me up the next morning and marched me out!! 

So on the drive in I reminded myself of all I had in my corner.  I also reminded myself that tomorrow, no matter the outcome, the sun would still rise.  Sometimes I take all this so seriously.  And once again, I decided to enjoy my peeps and have fun!  That's the magic.  I mean, if it's no fun, what's the point?

I printed several photos with different subjects and decided to choose one that morning with fresh eyes.  I chose this photo reference for several reasons. To me, these ballroom dancers have so much fun.  And I LOVE to dance!  The bright pink scarf in contrast to the black and white.  The glasses, which up close were also checked.  I loved the pose.  Most of all, it was the skirt.  The checks, the blur and the twirl of it!! 

Many decisions are made during the painting process.  All my decisions were based on fun!  Keep the glasses?  It was harder because they are so small, but I think they add to the fun.  The colors in the background?  Obviously not in the photo, but bright, fun and complimentary to the scarf and tie.  I think the thing that made it for me is the skirt.  At one point, what I would do with the skirt was at issue.  Could I pull of the checks without it becoming too busy?  I knew I wanted to do the blur but I wondered if painting the skirt a solid would help me stick to my philosophy that less is more.   I conferred with friends and took the risk.  Saturday it paid off.   Friday it didn't. 

Not a winner this year.  Or maybe I am :) 



  1. You are a winner!!!All your paintings are beautiful!!!Just like you.

  2. Loved the painting!