Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking Back

detail from my beaded necklace, "Mystic Pool"
2010 was a good art year for me. My pieces were well-received in several shows. I was able to sell over $3,000 of art work and donate the money to animal charities. Challenges presented themselves for the future. And directions became clearer in a few significant ways. I also re-built my web site and finally got serious with this blog that I had started late in 2009.

In terms of the shows, the highlight was being a finalist in Kalmbach’s 2010 Bead Dreams Show in the polymer clay category. This is an international show. I don’t know the number of entries, but wouldn’t be surprised if there are hundreds in each category. My piece was one of five finalists, so I am very pleased.

Firemountain Gems accepted five of my pieces as finalists, one in the seed bead category, and four in the polymer clay category. One of the polymer clay pieces, the “Christmas Dreams” necklace, won the gold medal in its category. Firemountain Gems does a fabulous job of recognizing its artists and I really appreciate their efforts. They sent me lovely certificates with professional photos of my pieces, as well as copies of three full page ads, each featuring one of my pieces, which they will be using in advertising.

My “Paradise” gourd won first prize in the American Gourd Society’s quarterly competition in the spring. The theme was mixed media and they printed a nice photo as well as a brief bio in their official magazine.

Sierra Pastel Society awarded me Signature Status. I was one of two members awarded this status this year.

My pastel portrait of our beloved squirrel Sparkle won an Award of Merit in PAA’s annual national juried Mother Lode Show held at the Shakespeare Club in Placerville.

My pastel portrait of a sweet kitten, “Badger,” won an Award of Merit in Sierra Pastel Society’s bi-annual national juried show, “Pastels on High,” held at Hang It Up Gallery in El Dorado Hills.

In terms of sales, I made several “one off” sales during the year and also participated in two sales opportunities, PAA’s Studio Tour and EDAC’s Holiday Market. This year I completed my first two commissioned pet portraits and also sold one of the portraits that I had painted as a sample. I was thrilled to distribute the money I made to animal charities: PAWED (People for Animal Welfare in El Dorado County),  Fat Kitty City (a cat shelter in El Dorado Hills), and IBBR (Idaho Black Bear Rehab).

My application for membership in the Society of Animal Artists was not accepted, so re-applying in April is my big challenge for the first part of next year. I will be completing five animal paintings for this purpose. Other challenges include finding more places to market my work. I would also like to find a way to specifically support the cause of the American mustangs through my art.

In addition to meeting these challenges, other goals include self-publishing, expanding my on-line presence, and creating and following a schedule for updating my website. I plan to once again enter the Bead Dreams and Fire Mountain Gems competitions. I will also enter an IAPS (International Association of Pastel Societies) competition.

In closing for the year, I am so grateful for whatever talents God has given me, and for my wonderful human and animal family.

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