First place, TWICE!

Apparently, last evening after I had checked my email for the night, I received not one but TWO emails with the subject line saying, “Congratulations from the North Florida/South Georgia VA Healthcare system.” I immediately knew what it was: I had entered the NFSG’s Creative Arts Festival competition. In fact, I had sent in three entries, as I had artwork for three categories listed: watercolor, monochromatic drawing, and multicolor drawing. Both emails informed me I had won FIRST PLACE in the watercolor and monochromatic drawing categories, and my entries will be automatically advanced to the national level to represent our region.

digital certificate of my two awards
The pdf attachment of my award – both looked the same

The image in a pdf file was just the icing on the cake, so to speak. Yes, both attachments were the same, but I really am still feeling a bit too jazzed about taking top spot two out of three times to quibble. Now, what did I enter? Interestingly enough, all three entries were the result of various art challenges I participated in over the summer (entry deadline was at the end of August).

First, the one that didn’t place: my colored pencil on black paper Christmas Candle, which happens to be my friend Keashia’s current favorite. In the watercolor category, I entered one of my favorites, Flamingo in Rippled Water. I need to do up an “on the easel” post for the 16 by 20 inch acrylic painting I am working on, based off this watercolor, but that can wait for another day. And in the monochromatic drawing, I entered my Dew on a Calla Lily piece, which is my favorite from the black and white challenge.

The emails mentioned the regional coordinator is putting together a showcase of the winners scheduled for December, and I am very interested in that … so the two winning pieces have been placed on hold and will not be available to ship or be picked up until after that. I’ve amended the listing for Flamingo in Rippled Water over at Daily Paintworks, and have not listed the calla lily drawing yet. I suppose that technically I could sell these, but hold them until after the winners’ showcase. Eh, it’s not an issue yet, but right now I am quite thrilled, as this is the first time placing in an art competition since I was a schoolkid. Hmm, it’s also the first one I’ve entered in about as long. Either way – I won first place, twice!

Dew on a Calla Lily, white pencil on black paper
Dew on a Calla Lily, white pencil on black paper, 9 by 12 inches
Flamingo in Rippled Water, watercolor painting
Flamingo in Rippled Water, watercolor on paper, 12 by 9 inches

Flamingo in Rippled Water watercolor painting

I did complete the seven day art challenge, even if I didn’t post everything here.  In all, I have six flamingo paintings and one beach sunrise painting, all in watercolor. This is the flamingo painting I like best of the six.

watercolor painting Flamingo in Rippled Water
Flamingo in Rippled Water. 9×12 inch watercolor on paper, original available

A pink flamingo feeds in rippled blue-green water along the shore, with its feathers and the water ripples catching the early morning sun light.  This is a twelve by nine inch watercolor painting on watercolor paper.

The (unframed) original painting is available, sealed with art wax and in a plastic sleeve to protect it, for $125 USD.  Prints are available at my Pixels store, and accessories and apparel at my RedBubble store.

Award-winning watercolor painting

Update: I entered this painting into two art contests. The first was the inaugural art competition in the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans’ Healthcare System Creative Arts Festival (say that one fast) and it took first place in the watercolor division, though it did not place at the national level. We veterans tend to be quite the talented bunch. The second time was in March 2022, when I entered in my local county fair. The judge bumped it up to the professional category, and awarded me a red ribbon (which had a prize of $2.00!). Considering the Best in Show went to someone in the youth category, and that will look great on a college application, I have no regrets.

I should probably note I am working on repainting this on a 16×20 inch stretched canvas. I have the layout done, and a thin layer of acrylic as the base because charcoal and graphite tend to rub off canvas. Watch for a further post on this piece, which will be a one-of-a-kind since my scanner can only fit 11×17 inches, so there will be no prints of it.