Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pride Cometh Before The Fall

The past two summers here in La Conner in Skagit Valley, Washington, polo matches have been played.  As a young girl, I thoroughly enjoyed attending and watching polo matches. What an adrenalin rush!  And now they were having matches not five miles from where I live.  What a treat!

As most artist do, I carry at least two cameras in the car most of the time.  The first time I saw the matches going on in a field off the main drag into La Conner, I pulled in and took about thirty photos.  I was told there was to be a Governors Cup the following month, so I planned to be there.  I brought a friend, and again clicked probably 120 or more photos and felt I had some really good material from which to paint.

I had been fooling around with acrylics, and I had been teaching a figures and faces "lite" class, so I wanted to see what I could do with the polo ponies and the players in acrylic.  I thoroughly enjoyed painting a few of them, yet I was so concerned with how to do the backgrounds. The backgrounds in the photos weren't great, and the lighting wasn't the best either, but a photography instructor I had once said, "Always get the shot."  That's what they invented Adobe Photoshop for.

So I agonized, consulted artist friends, fiddled and fiddled, deciding on a sort of abstract background a la Leroy Nieman [yeh, right!].  I took the paintings to a small show where my friends told me to price the paintings about two times higher than I usually do, and was on my way to the show, where I was going to slash the prices in half.  When I got to the show, I was told that one of them had sold already [the show had started only ten minutes before], and there was a check for me.  So I left the prices where they were.

The next month, I submitted one of the ponies in our art club Artist of the Month vote, and won.  So, after selling one, and having one win Artist of the Month for me, I was pleased, but hadn't sold the rest of my ponies.The local art market is somewhat reflective of the national economic situation, so the two remaining Gov Cup polo players were still around.  My club, ALN, was scheduled to put on a new venue locally, so I thought I would try the ponies again.  The show was juried, and my ponies didn't make it! 

I think I will do them again, and tone down the background, maybe do one similar to the one that sold, and just chalk the other two up to a learning experience ... more the experience of rejection.  Really, I'm over it!

I found out yesterday that one of my paintings that was in that show DID sell, so I feel somewhat redeemed.  You win a few, you lose a few and some just don't make the cut.  Still, I have about another one hundred and eighteen photos of polo ponies and players to choose from and to paint before the next matches this summer.  Maybe I can play to the vanity of the players I paint and sell them at the matches! 

In any event, I thoroughly enjoy painting them ,and thorughly enjoy the matches, so nothing really lost!

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