Years ago I sewed a vest from dark green polished cotton, covered matching buttons, painted on a pattern of undulating purplish-green ivy, and bordered the vines and leaves in gold foil. Completely my original design and work, other than using a commercial vest pattern, which of course, is allowed. It was a truly gorgeous item, and I believe it is still in my closet, the worse for wear because it was, after all, a vest I made for my own wardrobe. I received lots of compliments on it during my vest-wearing days. :). I wore it often because I loved the way it looked.
I think I won a red second place ribbon for it, which annoyed my mother. She had seen the other clothing entries and said mine was the best of all, and an original handmade design to boot, while others had apparently used commercial iron-ons to complete their designs.
And it's ok. :). I was thrilled to win a ribbon at all! Lol. I suppose the judges didn't realize it was an original free-handed design, or that it wasn't a consideration.
Because I went to the fair never hearing a mention of seeing ribbons from either my classmates in painting, friends, or students, I figured my work didn't compare to the other entries. I didn't allow myself to be disappointed. Well, what did I expect, anyway? I'm a total newbie at oil painting, and there's quite a learning curve involved. It's okay to be awful at something when you're learning. :). Well, other than surgery. You kinda have to be a great surgeon at all times, I think.
I went last night and found my paintings, with blue ribbons on them. (Yes, there WERE other entries In those categories!) I was pleasantly surprised! Actually, I was a tiny bit giddy, because this meant that I'm not wasting my time. Oh, and there was prize money too! $9. Lol. (Hey, I never knew about the money from the other ribbon. I just left that $3.50 there and never knew!).
I went to the fair office to pick up my money, and the lady at the window acted like 1) I was inconveniencing her to ask, bent double in my modest height to reach the speaking hole in the window, 2) being chintzy for accepting $9 in prize money, 3) lying about having won something in the first place. She really gave me a snotty attitude about it, so I was extra syrupy sweet and pleasant to her. Going by the lack of names on the check-signing sheet, there must be a lot of people who don't pick up their prize money. I didn't even know about it until this year.
So I went home feeling happy and validated, planning to paint more. And then there was that annoying dream... Lol
I dreamed I was in an acrylic painting class that was full of people painting different things, and the teacher wouldn't give us the go-ahead to start working. So I was talking to some friends in the class, telling them about the ribbons from the fair, and the teacher started yelling at me for disrupting class, not working hard enough on my canvas, and not having enough talent to be her student. I was wasting her time, she said, when she was actually wasting everyone else's time, making us sit there unable to work, while we were paying her by the hour to teach us. *rolling eyes*
Hahaha! You know where that comes from. It's just basic insecurity -- a lack of self confidence. Funny that it came right as I was feeling good about myself. The great part was that what she said didn't faze me at all. I just grinned and went back to my seat to paint. I looked in my toolbox and found a handful of X-acto knives in there, though, and I wondered what kind of painting teacher would require her students to have more craft knives than brushes. :) Maybe... not such a good teacher, with her bleached blonde pageboy hairdo and constant shouting.
So the dream didn't quite come from nowhere. It was relevant, and to the point of what I'd been worrying over for ten months. I just didn't let it get to me.
And what about the knives? I've been thinking about painting another Leonid Afremov - style painting, which I realized would require me to buy a couple more palette knives. :). And possibly some painting butter. My gut tells me that's the secret to his thick paint drying in less than a hundred years. Has to be! I'm going to play with that stuff, I think. One thing is for sure - I need a better easel. My $20 Wal-Mart easel was the best they had, but a piece of junk, as it turns out. Lol. It's totally rickety and too small to hold an 8x10 canvas while I paint anyway. Now at least I know what to look for when I shop for an easel. That's all that holding me back from painting at home.
The painting I was working on in the dream was a tall vase full of flowers, with a pink background. Nothing particularly meaningful about that, although in the dream I was surprised I'd chosen such a girly looking picture. I knew that it had been a long time since the teacher had held class, and I'd forgotten a lot. That was the gist of why I was unhappy with her, I'm sure.
Painting, I think I'll keep you. :). It isn't a new thing for me -- I've been painting for over 20 years, if I think about it. I started with oil paint by numbers at 12 (does that count?), then fabric painting at 18, on to acrylics with One Stroke Painting at 25 (I'm actually a certified instructor, but soon realized there was a lack of support from the higher-ups, and no discounts on materials unless you bought in bulk), and oils again, at 42.