2017... My first year as president of Plein Air Washington Artists. My first invitational competition. My first non-group exhibit in a gallery, along with representation. My first award in a show. Every step of the way has been unbelievably phenomenal.
I was thrilled when my 8x10 plein air, "Ladder Creek Falls" won the poster award for the "Beauty of the Northwest" show in Edmonds! It came with a ribbon and a monetary prize. There were so many stunning entries that I was completely honored. The painting was sold there, as well. Last February, I was one of five exhibiting for the month at the Scott Milo Gallery in Anacortes. You may now find me being represented on the website! Last year, I travelled quite a bit around Washington State with the PAWA group and had so much fun every step of the way! Some were places I had never been. Another year of firsts!
The competition I was in was, in a word, intense. First, was a submission of fine art. Once accepted, I was then eligible to participate in the plein air competition and show. Upon arrival, we hung our initial fine art pieces in one spot, then were able to add a silent auction piece in an additional room. For two days, before the Gala started, we had the plein air competition in which I sold one out of three that I painted to a wonderful volunteer who came in from out-of-state to help with the shows. There was a beautiful story that came along with the purchase. One that I will never forget. My, how life has its amazing twists and turns. There's more - we then had a "quick paint" in the main gallery in which those who were brave enough to do it, finished a painting, either from a photo or still-life in 1 1/2 hours, while the patron audience walked around bidding... what a rush! I did sell mine to a wonderful couple who invited me to stay at their place the next time I came down! I painted from a photo I took while in Stehekin the year prior of ducks called Mergansers. It was a mom and babies - some on her back and a couple of tagalongs trying to keep up. I even named it, "Wait for Me!". With travel, lodging, and other expenses, I'm sure I spent way more than I earned, but it was such an adventure filled with discoveries, challenges, and festivities!
PAWA, Plein Air Washington Artists. What a body of artists! I am over-the-moon pleased to be an integral cog in the wheel of more than 200 exceptional plein air artists! We are painting all over Washington State and beyond. I run one of our two annual shows and work with our board and facilitators planning and working throughout the year to keep this top-notch organization thriving! I still say, "You meet the nicest people painting en plein air!"