For many years it has been my dream to have a painting accepted into the annual exhibit in New York City with the American Watercolor Society. This painting, MENDING THE SAILS, won first place at a show in Annapolis, Maryland in June and my confidence was boosted. The juror wrote, in her critique, that the painting was perfect. It was indeed my best painting. I spent two years painting it – not because it took two years of labor, but because it felt so right that I was afraid I would ruin it. I have not been able to best it.
I thought perhaps I was ready to enter the American Watercolor Society exhibit. I usually don’t let myself hope, but I surely did this time.
My first thought is that my best work was not acceptable. I feel suddenly old. That’s how my heart feels. My head knows that jurors have preconceived ideas of what greatness is with paintings. I know that. I do. I know that if I entered the exact same painting again at a later time, it might get accepted.
Let me grieve for awhile. In the morning my perspective will be back to right. The sun will rise and I’ll find myself. Perhaps the outcome will be to get busy and paint so that I can once more know the thrill of painting something that just takes my breath away.
When I finish a painting like this one, I carry it around with me for days. I set it on the floor near the TV and let myself forget about it so that when my eye glances upon it accidentally, my breath is taken away by it. I set it in the chair on the other side of the table. I want to see it with fresh eyes. This painting, even still, takes my breath away.
I will paint again.