WSO Convention in Medford, OR
This past weekend I was fortunate enough to attend the Watercolor Society of Oregon’s (WSO) convention in Medford OR. It was an action packed weekend that left me dizzy with ideas and lessons learned. I met many new people, new faces, new names. It was wonderful.
Linda Baker (AWS/NWS), Juror
Ms. Linda Baker was our Juror and guest speaker. On Saturday she guided us through a critique of nearly 40 paintings. On Sunday, she honored us with a lecture and demonstration of her approach to painting. Linda was funny, articulate and insightful. It was a memorable and educational experience.
Art Exhibition Opening
The Convention coincided with the Opening of the WSO Fall Transparent Exhibition. Openings are exciting and enlightening. They are the culmination of a lot of work too! Over 300 paintings were submitted and 80 were accepted. One of them, happily, was my piece “I Can’t Hear You” (please see below).
I found it educational to look the paintings and the installation in the gallery. Naturally, I am thinking about how my work feels in a gallery setting along with approximately 80 paintings. Does it speak to the audience? Does it show well? What can I learn?
Big or Little: Size Matters
One thing that was obvious is that size does matter. My painting was among the smaller paintings. While not all award winning paintings were large, I could see and feel that size matters. I’m thinking that the larger (22×30 inches) paintings feel more open, inviting, expansive or embracing to the viewer. The statement is public, it has impact just by size. The painting says “I’m here, look at me”.
The smaller paintings, perhaps 15×11 inches or less in size, make a more intimate, closed or private statement. Oddly enough, size can seem to put distance between the statement and the viewer. I found that artists can counter the closed feeling by using simple, bold shapes.
What Are You Trying To Say?
I’m sure I’ve read that question before. It’s a question one has to learn to ask themselves. The size of the painting, and art in general, is linked to the statement we make. Simply stated: we notice size and it matters.
Bottomline: I need to paint bigger! Simple enough “take away”, don’t you think? The next step is do it, followed by making it work.
PS. My painting earned an “Award of Distinction”. Having a nice ribbon by the painting communicates something, don’t you think?