Friday, January 29, 2010

What the F+W is going on here?

Coming home in the night and gathering up the mail at the door, I noticed a big envelope with the return address of F+W Publications, the publishers of two of my favorite magazines I subscribe to, Artist Magazine and Watercolor Artist Magazine. They publish many other magazines, and are the parent company of North Light Books for artists. I also have recently entered several of their contests. I was kind of excited - did I win something? When I got inside, I realized that the mail was addressed to "Fred Dingler", but at my address. I am certain Fred doesn't live at my house.

Inside was a lovely letter from the editor of Watercolor Artist Magazine, Kelly Kane, reading in part:

"Dear Fred,

One of my most enjoyable tasks as editor of Watercolor Artist is passing along good news to artists. As you have already been informed, your entry, Sun Dreamer, has been awarded Honorable Mention in the Watermedia Showcase sponsored by Watercolor Artist. Enclosed is your Certificate of Achievement to honor your accomplishment."

There was a certificate. With Fred Dingler's name on it. But Sun Dreamer is my painting. Was I supposed to be featured in February's Watercolor Artist? Because it is not my painting in there, but Fred Dingler's painting Apalachicola. When I received the magazine, I was a little PO'd anyhow. Tthe article mentions that over 600 entries were received. At $15 per entry (the fee), that netted F+W Publications a tidy $9000+. Couldn't they have selected more than the 8 artists they did - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 4 Honorable Mentions?

I received an award from them in 2007 when the magazine was called Watercolor Magic. There were 22 winners. I was thrilled and it is still one of my proudest accomplishments. So I sent Kelly Kane a letter asking her to explain, maybe she'll respond. I hope she does. Maybe I get an award, maybe I don't, but Fred Dingler should get his certificate, anyhow.

David and I have a word we invented: "Scaltreatment". We use it whenever we feel that we have gotten the shaft, the old poopy end of the stick. David followed me around after I shared this with him exclaiming, "You received the ULTIMATE Scaltreatment!" Yup, I have again received the Scaltreatment, and in the name of Scaltretos everywhere, I think that just stinks.

Above is my painting, Sun Dreamer. Poor little Miss Kes got the Scaltreatment, too.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

New Year is such an awesome time - tabla rasa, start anew, and we are post winter solstice with longer days so there is the promise that spring will come again someday. My thoughts are turning to putting into action some new ideas, or actually old ideas whose time has come for me. I think it is very cool when you open a new chapter and feel totally ready for it, and actually this chapter opens as so many of mine do, with a deadline. About a year and a half ago, I got really organized with deadlines for artist competitions that I wanted to do, ones that I felt would further my career. It is a real great way to sharpen up. You are competing, so you have to put your best work out there, and there is a reward in that you can be in the exhibition, or published in the magazine, or whatever, so having a carrot is a great motivator. And, as mentioned, there's a deadline, so you have to get the heiny in gear, baby, or you miss the bus.

Quite by accident, in November I discovered a competition - the Jerry's Artarama "My Art Journey" Art Stars competition. The deadline was December 31. They wanted interested participants to put together a maximum 8 minute long video, demonstrate a technique, talk about your "art journey" - career, things that inspire you - and show some of your work. The winner gets $1,000 of art supplies from Jerry's plus a contract to make a "World of Art" video at Burning Oak Studios in North Carolina with all expenses paid. I have been talking about doing a local cable show for years, "Oh, I should do that..." I thought I'd be good at explaining techniques and my students certainly think so. Thank you, Jerry's Artarama, for giving me a deadline and a competition!

I planned much of it out in my head, obsessing about it for a while. Waking up at 3 am, I'd think about what to demonstrate, how to film it, what could I do that is special and make me stand out from the crowd? Watercolor was my medium of choice. I talked poor David's ear off, mentioned it at each of my classes and got those wonderful cheerleaders buzzing about it. In a flash of brilliance, I figured out what I could show that was cool and exciting, how to get the look of galvanized metal using salt and lifting techniques. My good friend and student, Skye Gladstone, who is also a professional actress and just about the most multi talented person I know, came to my studio and filmed it. During the snowstorm the weekend before Christmas, David and I went over the footage and he did a masterful job of editing footage from the two cameras, plus adding in the still images of my work, titles and even a soundtrack with a bit of my classic rock band, Ringin' in the Ears, doing the harp solo part of The Standell's Dirty Water. It is so awesome! It came out 1,000 times better than I could have imagined, and I know it will do well in the competition.

During this time, I happened to be taking a free class at the Watertown Community Access Center at the high school, and got to meet Nick Palm who taught the Photoshop class and who is the production coordinator over there. I told him I was filming this video for the competition, and my crazy idea to have my own art show. Right away he was jazzed about it, and I talked a little about filming at my studio and he said that could be done. I am going to make a packet with the video to submit to Tamarah Green, the Executive Director at the station. Hopefully she'll be jazzed, too, and David did such an awesome job editing the video, I am hoping he'll be doing some of that with me on this project. So, Happy New Year 2010, I may have my own show! Take THAT, Bob Ross! Hey, Donna Dewberry, watch out! Ok, it is on local cable, but their programming is shared regionally through Peg Media, and WGBH has their new Create TV channel and they are so close! Don't you think they will love Watercolorwhirled with Dawn Evans Scaltreto?

I'll post a link here to the video as soon as Jerry's puts it up, and the winner will be determined by hits so get everyone you know hitting You Tube daily to watch it. Above is the painting, Still Life with Watering Can, featured in the video.