[frame src="http://anneblairbrown.com/wp-content/uploads/Grandpa-III.jpg" width="980" lightbox="on" title="Grandpa (12x12 oil on linen)" align="center" ] I have been participating in various competitions lately, including several plein air events. After each one my family, friends, and supporters ask excitedly, “Did you win anything?” Sometimes I walk away with an award and sometimes not. The answer to their question is always “yes”, though. I feel like a winner each time because I have put myself out there and done some really hard work. I am grateful for the experiences, and with each event I make new friends, face new challenges, and gain a deeper understanding of the craft.
As for those awards, all I can do as an artist is my personal best and say thank you when my efforts are recognized. The reality of it for me is that I don’t consider myself in competition with others but rather with myself. I am on my own journey and it would be counter-intuitive to compare myself with anyone else. The respect of my peers and the connection with my students means more to me than anything.
Is it nice to be recognized? Heck, yeah! I was recently honored with “Artists’ Choice Award” at the Los Gatos Plein Air Festival and I am absolutely thrilled. But as I study those who have come before me, I realize painting is more about growing and giving than competing and winning. I hope I can measure up to those I admire who have given so much of themselves.
I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.-Michael Jordan