Sunday, November 12, 2006

a night at the races

Last night was the awards ceremony for the Surrey Arts Council's Fraser Downs Art Competition and Exhibition. It was part of the Saturday night race card and the presentation was included in the ongoing telecast of satellite-linked racing in North America that can also be viewed on-line. Greg and I arrived in plenty of time for me to take a few photos and make a couple of wagers. (The photos turned out better than the race results.) Personally, I don't understand the attraction of remote betting. I just love the excitement of being there, at the rail, when the horses go under the wire, and since it was mostly a steady drizzle last night, and cold, we had the rail pretty much to ourselves. We also popped into the casino and what an eye opener that was (we must be the only couple in Vancouver who've never spent a weekend in Vegas): no handsome men in tuxedos dealing cards or sequin-clad ladies behind the roulette wheel (I've seen James Bond movies after all). It was a riot of flashing lights and a sea of slots, each with a blue-hair in the driver's seat.

The doling out of awards was less exciting but more revealing. I will admit that I got my hopes up when I dropped my painting off on Thursday and got a good look at the competition, so was stupidly disappointed to hear I'd only come third (prize: $300) after the judging. Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth (sorry). First place and the cheque for $1000, for the second year in a row, went to Doris Biddle, associate member of the Surrey Arts Council, for the following painting:

Second place went to Jarnail Singh, a director on the Surrey Arts Council, and this painting:

Unlike those who pull down a regular paycheque for their work, be it brilliant or crap, artists must rely on the integrity of jurors, the business acumen of gallery owners and the tastes of the buying public to make ends meet. It can be harsh. But at the end of the day, this wasn't the right venue for my work and the work I submitted was definitely a departure from my normal M.O. It's not my place to tell anyone, especially a community arts council, how to conduct their business and let's face it, I left Fraser Downs richer than when I arrived, which is more than I can say for about 90% of the people there. I'd call that a success, wouldn't you?


Blogger tlc illustration said...

Well, congratulations on your disappointing win? :-) I have to chuckle while trying to figure out what to say in a case like this. :-)

You do seem to make an impression in all the venues you enter. That is impressive (and deserved) in and of itself.

12/11/06 10:58 PM  
Blogger andy said...

I read this first in a feed reader and, not being able to see the pictures, was tempted to reprimand you, albeit gently - third is still a placing, after all.

Then I saw the pictures. Let's just say that, having seen what won, I can understand your disappointment...

I know which I'd rather have on my wall :-)

12/11/06 11:01 PM  
Anonymous kyknoord said...

Robbed! Robbed, I tell ya!

12/11/06 11:06 PM  
Blogger Caroline said...

I'm glad the gift horse didn't snatch back that $300 - its brilliant! Of course coming 1st would have been better but this is still brilliant!

13/11/06 1:09 AM  
Anonymous Detlef said...

I have to say that the winning painting doesn't inspire me (nor does the one that came second for that matter). Anyways, I think you're way too harsh on yourself and (if you are so inclined) you should continue to do the odd racing scene. And to the Surry Arts Council ah, bah humbug.

13/11/06 2:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you're flogging a dead horse if you think that they won't look after themselves!
The S.A.C. sucks, I say!

13/11/06 3:57 AM  
Blogger Caty said...

third place?! that's great! And are not the only couple in vancouver who has never been in Las Vegas...we neither...

13/11/06 4:29 AM  
Blogger ziggi said...

well done! - don't give up on the horses - your horse had real movement about it, and as you say you left richer and with some recognition - a success!
ps - I'd be first in the queue to by yours and I wouldn't line up for the others!

13/11/06 4:46 AM  
Blogger ziggi said...

BUY - I can spell - well sometimes

13/11/06 4:47 AM  
Blogger Ces said...

Andrea, congratulations on placing in the contest. I understand your disappointment. The second place is not something I would ever hang in my house. The first place may be okay but there is not much spirit to it - a bunch of horses and a few disinterested spectators. I don't know what the contest rules were. Sometimes I take comfort on the fact that some of the greatest artists never won a competition let alone sold a painting while they were alive. So you are definitely ahead of the game!!!

I wonder how it would look if you painted this theme using your original style and technique that you are famous for, the one I call Naturally Andrea Pratt!

13/11/06 4:51 AM  
Blogger susan said...

judging smudging, your painting is far superior and you are $300 richer. i take that anyday!
there is no figuring out these "contests". the races seemed like fun too!

13/11/06 5:24 AM  
Blogger carla said...

I must agree with Susan that your painting is really much more exciting than those that won the other prizes...I find the other two pretty predictable. Even though you reigned in (I can do this too, you know :>) your style a bit (hah), your submission was full of the Andrea energy and color that I think always finishes first. Anyway...congratulations on the prize! I know what you mean about casinos...we walked through Mohegan Sun's casino once when we went to see some musicians Jol does business with who were playing the arena there... I was really sort shocked to see the place jammed with seniors wearing pastel polyester and fanny packs... certainly not my idea of a fun way to "spend" my retirement!

13/11/06 5:42 AM  
Blogger Sheri Burhoe said...

Congratulations on winning a prize ! I think that even though your painting came in third - You were still recognized as being one of the three winners and that's awesome.I hate to be negative but, the first prize kinda'a reminds me of a Thomas Kincade.eee.What can ya do ?!

13/11/06 6:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on breaking in to the top 3 in what looks to be stacked competition!

I also know which one I'd rather have hanging in my home...yours!

I've only been to the races once, years ago in Charlestown, VA. It was a memorable experience, and I left much poorer!

13/11/06 6:50 AM  
Blogger Sheri Burhoe said...

P.S/ Thank goodness for good art such as yours Andrea - Because if I had nothing to look at bsides Thomas Kincade's work I think I would die.

13/11/06 6:51 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

Tara: Hee hee. As for me, I had to figure out what to write in a case like this. There are *so* many different angles from which I could've approached this.

Andy: A picture is worth a thousand words...?

Kyknoord: Shall I give you their phone number?

Caroline, Ziggi and Caty: Thanks. I needed the boost.

Detlef: I think I will let this drop then take some more photos to work from, maybe applying my more typical style to them. Thing is, I do love to draw or paint a racehorse in a style faithful to its athleticism.

Cream: Hee hee. No, tell me what you *really* think. :)

Ces: As I said to Detlef, I'm thinking about giving that a try. I like to use van Gogh as a role model, too!

Susan: I'm not much of a bettor but would love to spend an evening with a disposable $100 just for fun.

Carla: You know just what to say --and I can't see me spending my retirement with a one-armed bandit either!

Sheri: Glass half full -- that's the best approach don't you think? (And euww to Kinkaid!)

Cynhtia: Thanks, and did you notice that I didn't use the 'n' word once?

13/11/06 8:58 AM  
Blogger Sheri Burhoe said...

oopsy - Did I spell his name wrong - so very rude of me !

13/11/06 9:23 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

No -- it was me! So much for my supposed great grasp of spelling!

13/11/06 9:32 AM  
Blogger Brian the Mennonite said...

Success indeed, Andrea. Good for you. $300.00 is good money, and more exposure is always a winner.

13/11/06 9:46 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Sounds like success to me! Third place is nothing to scoff at. Congratulations.

I agree with the others though. I would have given you first place against those other two.

13/11/06 10:01 AM  
Blogger kj said...

nothing worse than being at the wrong place at the wrong time for the wrong reason.

congratulations on third place that should have been first. and to tell you the truth, which i can do because you are my friend, in my little opinion this particuliar piece doesn't hold a candle (or bridle) to the magnificence of your work as a whole.....


13/11/06 10:49 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

Thanks, friends. Hard, cold reality is a little easier with such a soft landing!

Brian: What do *you* make for 14 hours' work? Now if I was to sell the painting, too -- THAT would be good money. (sigh)

Heather: I've received 3rd place or Honourable Mention before and been over-the-hill thrilled because I was so intimidated by the competition.

KJ: To tell *you* the truth -- I agree (not with the magnificence part -- that just makes me thank you and blush and shake my head as I have such a long way to go yet) -- but with the fact that my other work is better.

13/11/06 4:28 PM  
Blogger Brian the Mennonite said...

Somebody needs a hug. :)

13/11/06 5:50 PM  
Blogger Belinda said...

I would buy the one you did several times over before those other two. Sheesh.

13/11/06 8:40 PM  
Blogger Jana Bouc said...

When my painting group pals and I didn't even get in to the California Watercolor annual national show we were hoping we'd see beautiful work that was far superior to ours when we went to see the paintings. But only a handful were good and the rest were either amateurish, boring or typical schmaltzy watercolors. That really stung--but we decided it was all about the juror, not about our work--he's a regular on the workshop circuit but I wouldn't want one of his paintings. It seems like every show comes down to the juror(s) and what they like. And they did like you, you know.

15/11/06 8:58 AM  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

Haha Great post! Good for you!!!

17/11/06 1:19 PM  

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