Won First Prize for Painting

Receiving the Blue RibbonMy husband joking me with me.
Our friend Tihn hanging out to support me at the award ceremony.

"The Blue Ribbon Winner"
and I painted my favorite things. (just like the claw foot tub...story below)
I was please to find out that my painting one first place for painting in our Something Red show.

I have won 2 first prize ribbons, 1 second place and best of show in the last 7 years. But it seems that I have needed to keep getting the ribbons until I got the message. My husband pointed out the lesson to me late one night after winning this second blue ribbon.......

This is the story.

When I was in college I was young and not really sure of my self. I went to a Art school out of High School. I met students that were much more mature than me. Not only mature but they were guided and pampered and given so much encouragement for their art. They had parents who had enrolled them in art classes and museum schools for Children. I was totally innocent. I just showed up because some Art teacher in my senior year finally told me I had potential. But it was a shock when I got to Art School. California College of Arts and Crafts. It was 1971 and Berkeley...there was so much going on and this was the first time I lived alone from my parents home.

The teachers were not into babysitting me. So I just did the best I could with little encouragement.

I was so shocked when I walked into the sculpture critique one day. A guy student had a paint bucket of white paint. He was from New York and he was painting the wall so his sculpture could be shown off at it's very best!!!

I just buried by self in making apple pies and talking some pottery or core classes instead...like poetry...the art was over my head.

I was depressed and after 2 years moved to sunny Florida to go to college at U of Miami.

I had a plan for a new start. A friend who was a big boy painting student at the college California told me before I left to make some really big canvas's and get a mop and start smearing on color when I got there...

Instant Abstract expressionism. It was so fun and I was an instant star! But the weird thing was that there were other male students taking things very seriously. I didn't know about completion or anything. But I liked what I was doing. It was fun. I put my art in some galleries and then I was invited to a show at a professional art benefit show. I just went with the flow. Enjoying my fame.

I was on a track to be the big artist! I took a private class from the chairmen of the department. He had been the president of Kansas City Art Institute. He had me on a plan to go to France, and hang out in galleries and museums locally, draw everyday..a whole program for fame. He gave the seniors their own studio's..it was a high and heady time. I had a big station wagon to carry my 5 by 4 foot paintings...

But then.....the house of cards fell. I had no foundation growing up. I was just having fun like a child. But just as the scriptures say. "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children imitate their Father." This is how we learn this is how God created us to learn. So I was just imitating with no understanding as yet to who I really was.

Our chairman invited some big shot artist from New York to come an judge our student show. He wanted us to be real artists. Then he asked him to go to some of the students studio's to talk with them and help them. So this blow hard artist had a few beers and visited my studio. He asked me if I knew this artistic style and this artists....systematically tearing me to pieces. I was so innocent I had know idea what was going on. Finally he concluded that I need to give and go home and have babies!

I was devastated as I had no real support. And the only professor with a kind heart was the life drawing teacher. But I didn't take from him and didn't know him. I had all the life drawing I needed already when I got there. He heard from one of the grad students what happened and tried to help but it was too late..I was undone.

I said fooey on it! And I got a little canvas and started to paint a little Victorian bathroom that pleased me. A little stain glass window, claw foot tub...just a like me..I went and took a painting bubble bath..smile. My college teachers were shocked..what happened? They had know idea and I didn't tell them.

Well anyway I left soon after and changed my major to pottery.

But I love to paint. The time has passed and came around......again....the last 8 years. And my husband said to me this Number one prize is vindication for the stupid man who didn't know who he was talking to or seeing. He did not see the beauty and potential in me...(my husband is a University Professor.)

I realized that the judges of the "Something Red" shows that I have won the awards from are all Art college professor's and Gallery owners!

What a wonderful loving Christmas present! I finally got it I have been affirmed by this beautiful group of artists in the mix media world and this art group. And now I see I have been blessed by the professional and academic world too!
I am sure you have stories like this. I am so thankful for my friends, husband and Gods love to fix all the knots and knit me back together blessing me on my true path!


Micki Wilde said…
Wow what a story, you sure have been on an art journey!!

I was told at school level that I was not good enough to 'do art' and I believed them for such a long time until one day with the encouragement of a friend and my husband I just bought some paint and did it anyway, I have never looked back!! :)

Micki x
spindelmaker said…
What a story! I guess part of growing up is growing though, but no-one said it would be easy. I´m so glad you´ve finally came back to what you love doing, and not letting anyone stop you in the pursuit! Good for you! And congrats on the 1st prize!
Diane said…
I loved that you shared your past experiences with "professionals". I don't understand this thing about "teaching" art. Everyone's art is a self-expression of themself-so it will always be unique, BUT it will always be art. No one is better than the other--just different. On that note---I LOVE your form of self expression!!
Unknown said…
Congrats on winning! Bravo...great piece!
Congratulations Deirdra!
I loved your story and although I never got to go to art school or travel I can so relate with what you experienced with your art. I'm so happy that you didn't let the remarks of people, who didn't understand what the soul of art really means, deter you from becoming the artist you were always meant to be! Bravo Deirdra!
Tina xo
Janine said…
Congratulations Deirdra! Your work is fabulous and you deserve a reward for it! I am so happy for you! Thanks for sharing your story!
Anonymous said…
Van harte gefeliciteerd !
Congratulations !
Yes, the road to reward in often long, winding and hard...needs the determand mind to call victory...well done. Enjoy
Lieve groeten
Godeliva van Ariadone
Sarah said…
Oh what a great story! It is so good that now you are doing what you love and getting recognised for it. Congratulations! Love the painting too.

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