Well, it’s been another 52 weeks and, with this final entry of the year, another 52 blog posts!
Thanks so much to anyone and everyone that follows my weekly watercolour meanderings. ‘Meeting’ so many people via the blog has been one of the most delightful and unexpected bonuses of my time spent painting. It’s also true to say that many of you have helped me through the all too frequent tough or awkward times with your kind encouragement and supportive comments. Thank you all so much – you’ve been brilliant and I really appreciate it!
The end of 2021 was made all the more memorable for me with the arrival of a surprise notification on Christmas Eve.
I mentioned in last week’s post that the International Watercolour Masters 2022 had announced the winners of its 2022 open submission contest. I already knew that I wasn’t one of the ‘top’ selected artists, but this came as no surprise to me.
Deep down, I had been holding out some hope that I might be one of the ‘top 200’ artists so I had been keeping a close eye on my emails as the organisers said they would be contacting people over the next couple of days.
As time ticked by without any news, however, this hope had gradually ebbed away. So it was to my complete surprise when, late in the afternoon of Christmas Eve, I received a one-word email from David Poxon, the event’s lead organiser, that simply read “CONGRATULATIONS !!”
Attatched to the email was this ‘Top 200 Merit Award in recognition of my Pursuit of Exellence’:
Needless to say, I was, and still am, completely thrilled!
This ‘top 200’ recognition, from a total of 3,725 entrants puts me in the top 5% of entrants from around the world! What makes this particularly special is that the judging panel was comprised of over 20 of the world’s most critically acclaimed watercolour masters!
To know that some of the world’s greatest watercolour artists have spent time looking at my paintings and have seen some merit in them, well, it’s more than I could ever have imagined.
This news, coming hot on the heels of my successful pop-up exhibition at Starling Studios has been such a wonderful way to round the year off!
What I feel I need to do now is to get back to painting again. I’ve been away from my brushes and paints for longer than any time that I can remember in the past three or four years! In an effort to ease me back in, I’ve started a new sketchbook (almost perfect timing to coincide with the New Year!) but I have to confess to feeling quite rusty!
Here are some of the sketches so far…
Sadly none of them are anything to shout about, but it does feel good to be focussing on my painting again – even if I do feel that I’m having to rediscover my way a little bit! It’s good to be doing this in my sketchbook which feels ‘hidden’ from prying eyes. Working quickly in my sketchbook also means that I don’t get disheartened when they don’t work out as I’d intended! Hopefully, I’ll gradually be able to build up some painting momentum in the New Year and start working on some larger paintings again soon.
So that’s it from me for 2021! I hope that everyone has managed to have an enjoyable Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year with some degree of optimism – which admittedly is pretty challenging at the moment!
I look forward to being back in touch again in 2022! I’m currently allowing a few ideas for New Year resolutions to percolate – many of which relate to my painting. I’ll hopefully be able to share these with you soon, but I’d also love to hear if anyone else has similar ideas? Whether it’s to work in your sketchbook more often (definitely one mine!), take a class (possibly one of mine!) or try a different medium (not something I’m currently considering!), it would be great to share some of our creative hopes and aspirations for the year ahead!
In the meantime, all best wishes, and thanks once again.