Last year after being urged by friends and art colleagues, I entered a lot of juried art shows. This was a pretty bold step for me and turned out to be a phenomenal experience. I'll share with you a little secret. I almost wish I had not won first place in all the shows (except one). If I had won thirds, seconds, or honorable mentions, then I would feel more inspired to try a little harder and hope to work my way up to firsts. I'm not telling you this to blow my own horn - which I don't mind doing - but this could happen to you too, and it is an odd thing to have happen - maybe it's more unusual because here I am in my 70s having this new experience. I have a stack of blue ribbons now. That's as far as it goes. I never took best of show, I guess that could be a goal. I've changed my focus though and want to spend more time on other things - my family, house, pets, garden, place in the country and my altered books. I don't want to be bothered with paperwork and framing and meeting deadlines.
Instead of being in the art shows, I want to experience the behind the scenes part of exhibiting, so have volunteered for some committees. Yesterday I spent the day with my friends Jean and Francis, checking in art for a juried exhibit. It was lots of fun and the whole day was a great experience. I did this years ago for the Haggin Museum annual art league show - but it's been more than a decade or possibly two. The fun of being in the midst of the activity and the actual handling of all the works of art coming in is exhilarating and being face to face with dozens of artists and photographers is awesome. Now I can put faces with a lot of names I've been familiar with, and also met many new people. Tomorrow is judging day and I'll be there again, with the committees including friends and my grandsons who will be carrying art for the judges. This should be another good experience.