We all want to win prizes and recognition at shows, but the problem is so does everyone else! I didn't win a prize at the "Nature and Wildlife Art Show", I really didn't expect to. I am realistic enough to know that in a show that draws artists from all over the world I would have to be REALLY good to win.#   So, I look at it as an opportunity to continue working on my technique and ability so that eventually I will be good enough to win there.  Then when I do (notice I said when, not if) I will know that I have arrived at my goal of "running with the big guys".  We must always be confident that we CAN do it!  Otherwise, we won't try harder or strive to improve our work.  In the meantime, you are noticed by others and can make connections that can lead to becoming more skilled as an artist.

     Yes, I have won at shows in the past, but they were not as large or as competitive as this one. This is my next goal.  We take one step at a time when we learn to walk and continuing to walk means continuing to take steps. We must look at our art the same way.  Just the act of painting daily improves our work as I have said before,  but we can also find a mentor or teacher if we can afford to do so.  Sometimes just introducing ourselves to an artist we know or who lives in our area can open up the opportunity to be coached or mentored by them.  Now they may charge, but if you really want to improve and you get along well, you can take a great leap ahead in your skill.  This is the best and fastest way to improve in your skill.  The one-on-one learning situation is invaluable!

     Another way to try is by ordering videos from artists.  I have recommended a video in the recent past. It is called "En Plein Air: Painting on the Right Side of Your Brain" by Rick Howell. Rick has a wealth of information in his video.  Watch it many times and learn many things!  A few other artists I recommend are "Daniel Edmondson" in Colorado, "Richard Robinson" in New Zealand, "Elin Pendleton" in California, and "Stefan Baumann" in California.  They are all great artists and excellent teachers.  Each works in oils but that can easily be translated to acrylics if you so desire.  These are all actual "paint along" videos. To locate them just google their name with the word "artist" and each will come right up.  They sell video courses and individual videos at reasonable prices. These are my preferences, you may have others.

     Also, follow artists on Facebook.  A suggested list is below:

Quang Ho
Stefan Baumann
James Richards
Mike Barr (Australia-cityscapes)
Rick Howell
Will Warmth
Janet Oreco
Roos Schuring
Leno Rivo
Thomas Jefferson Kitts
Taryn Day
Roger Bensemer
Richard Robinson (New Zealand)
Johannes Vloothius (Canada)

     One more thing, and you may already know this: watch as much as you can on YouTube!  First of all it is free, and many good artists use this format to teach.  

# I always go to the show after it opens to study the paintings.  Especially the winners!  I look at not only the painting itself, but the composition, the technique, and the medium used.  I am convinced that at least at this point there is still somewhat of a prejudice against acrylics.  Oils have ruled the art world for hundreds of years and acrylics are only 40 years old.  So I think it will take a while for them to be on a level playing field. Acrylics are liked for abstracts and "Pour Art" but for traditional artwork oils are the king.  Keep that in mind for showing.  I am going to switch to oils for the future shows and see if it does make a difference.

      I sold two paintings this week!  One was a large painting and the other small. I had them at the restaurant Back 40 A1A.  I posted the picture of the small one (Surfboards II ) and said one had sold. Now, both have sold!  The second large one I have a photo of below.  It is a very nice, peaceful painting of the beach at sunset with boats stored on a rack. One of my favorites.  Enjoy and as always, Thank you for following me!

24 x 48
Acrylic on canvas - Gallery wrap


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