You remember I mentioned in the last post that I started 2017 with a flu? Well, sad I couldn’t be back in the studio, I spent that time (literally) feverishly applying for scholarships and casting for a few new opportunities. Recently some wonderful gifts caught the line.
Yesterday I checked my email during the long break in the figure studio and heard back from the Portrait Society of America. They graciously extended me a tuition scholarship for their annual conference in Atlanta, ie. the place where all my contemporary heroes meet for a weekend to do painting demonstrations, give talks and be social. Juliette is giving a talk there this year as well so it will be thrilling to see her speak formally to a larger audience. She’s a very inspiring speaker. I’ll also get to meet and see painters in action whom I only know from books and seeing their works on the Internet. The conference is the weekend of April 20th, so now I just need to find a place to stay. Atlanta anyone? I can’t believe I get to attend.
Earlier in the week I opened a soggy envelope (we had a lot of snow this week) from the Puget Sound Group of Northwest Artists. It was a letter of congratulations and a scholarship award check. They also invited me to participate in an exhibit for this year’s scholarship recipients to showcase two or more works at the PSGNA gallery this October 7th – November 4th. Serendipitously, the 7th also is my birthday. Because I hustle my summer away with freelance work as I try to make ends meet for the following year’s tuition, this bit of relief will go a long way toward easing the summer pressure and allowing me paint a bit more. I’m extremely grateful for this recognition and especially this extra peace of mind. The exhibit should have all different kinds of work in it too, not only classical or academic, and that will be really fun to see curated together.
I can participate in the exhibit but I won’t make it to the opening because…I’ll be in Holland assisting Juliette with a painting workshop held at Castle Keppel. The featured image at the top of this post is the Castle in question. It has been in the current owner’s family for 33 generations and tourists can stay at it, tour it, or host painting workshops in it. The owner of Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio, Cary Juurians, is a friend of the castle’s owner and she has entreated Juliette to do a portrait and still life workshop there, painting from the antiques around the castle. Earlier in the school year I mentioned to Juliette that the workshop sounded amazing and she let Cary know I’d be interested in being the “studio monitor,” an aide who attends the workshop but also helps with the studio and other labor in trade for tuition and board. That will be the last week of September and the first week of October. Emmett plans to go with me as Castle Cook! Bonus-bonus, I have never been to the holy land of Dutch Master painters and now I will get to tour the museums of Amsterdam for a few days. I cannot wait to see these beloved paintings in person for the first time.