What a year!

2015 is winding down, so it’s time to take a deep breath, relax, and review my art accomplishments for the year.

  • Had work accepted into 19 shows, including 15 juried, 2 invitationals, and 1 overseas (London)
  • Won 9 awards
    • 2 Honorable Mentions
    • 1 Award of Merit
    • 1 3rd Place
    • 1 2nd Place
    • 1 Runner-Up 2-D
    • 1 Best Realism
    • 1 1st Place
    • 1 Best in Show
  • Had a drawing published in a new book Strokes of Genius 7: Depth, Dimension and Space from North Light Books
  • Earned five-year merit award in the CPSA International Exhibition
  • Earned Silver signature status in the UKCPS International Exhibition
  • Taught 3 half-day workshops
  • Exhibited 2 full weekends in Silicon Valley Open Studios
  • Exhibited in 2 one-day outdoor festivals
  • Led a very successful forum for chapter presidents at the Colored Pencil Society of America convention in Atlanta
  • Demonstrated for 2 colored pencil manufacturers at events in San Jose, CA and Raleigh, NC
  • Gave a 90-minute presentation to a local art group
  • Finished 9 new drawings
  • Sold 4 original framed drawings
  • Led 4 CPSA chapter meetings plus organized related events
  • Re-elected president of my CPSA chapter
  • Almost turned a profit

Two of the awards came as big surprises….

In May, Cricket Time won 1st Place and $250 in the Pacific Art League Instructors Exhibition.  Many of the instructors at PAL have MFA degrees, a whole career of teaching and exhibition experience and a strong sense of their personal vision and style, so I don’t think I was the only one surprised that the juror, Anthony Meier of the esteemed Anthony Meier Gallery in San Francisco, chose my small colored pencil drawing for the top award.


Cricket Time, 1st Place in Pacific Art League Instructors Exhibition

And in December, Clinging to the Edge won Best of Show and $500 in the Coastal Arts League’s 31st Annual Juried Show!  There were 200 entries, of which 55 were accepted, and I was fortunate to have two among those.  This show is all media–photography, oils, sculpture, fiber arts, you name it–and “best of” awards are given for photography, 2D, and 3D works, as well as overall Best of Show.  It’s pretty rare for a mere graphite drawing to win a juror’s attention and favor over great works in all these other media!  And the next day, I was notified that it sold.


Clinging to the Edge, Best of Show in Coastal Arts League 31st Annual Juried Exhibition

photo 2

Best in Show in Coastal Arts League 31st Annual Juried Show!

In 2014 I exhibited in 8 shows and won 3 awards, so this year’s exhibition effort was quite a bit more ambitious than last year’s.  The bullet list above doesn’t even hint at the amount of time that was involved in putting together the CPSA forum, running and growing my CPSA chapter, helping organize the group sites for SVOS, and preparing artist packets for my workshops.  And considering I still work at a full-time day job, it’s a wonder I had time to create new art at all!

Am I satisfied with the outcome of 2015?  Yes!  Will I aim for even more in 2016?  Well, yes and no.

While I did manage to meet all my commitments and meet them well, the pace isn’t sustainable.  The last thing I want is to burn out.  I produced one less drawing this year than in 2014.  So I’ve resolved to not take on as much next year, so that I can devote more time to my art.  More drawing, less “other stuff”! The hard part is figuring out what to omit, since it’s all important for exposure and growing my art career.

I had a couple of goals for myself this year which I didn’t even get to, let alone attempt: to gain representation by a second gallery, and to gain skill with pastels.  I managed only two visits this year to the gallery which already represents me.  I need to do more with the one gallery before I can hope to keep a second one happy.

2016 will be a busy year, hopefully at a less hectic pace.  But first, I need a long winter’s nap and some long walks in nature to recharge.  Ahhhh….