At the end of April, my ‘Bedtime Stories for Privileged Children’ quilt was awarded 2nd place at the St. Louis Artist Guild’s ‘Migration and Displacement’ exhibit. The fact that I had entered this quilt into two other exhibits and it was not accepted into either of those did not prevent my ego from becoming completely inflated. I was an AWARD-WINNING ARTIST, thank you very much.
About a month later, I sat at my desk reading an email. It was a call for an exhibit at Art St. Louis called “The Rabbit Hole”. The deadline was one week away. Seven days isn’t exactly a lot of time to complete new work, but I was up for the challenge. I was an award-winning artist after all.
The same day I read the email at work, I came home and began sawing apart old paneling in my basement. That night I sanded and primed the paneling pieces in order to prepare it for the next step of my artistic process.
Day two, I came home from work and adhered color printouts of three digital photo collages I had made in years prior to the prepared panels with gel medium. I let my acrylic transfers sit over night.
Saturday morning, day three, I woke up before the rest of my family and washed the paper from my transfers. I also cut more wood paneling to use as ‘frames’ for my pieces. I sanded these frame strips down, primed them, and then glued everything together allowing it all to sit overnight to dry.
Sunday, day four, I woke early again and the painting began. I didn’t get much done since I had to prepare for a class I was taking and I then later went out to dinner with my family.
Monday, day five, I was still optimistic. I continued painting; working on the decorative details of my frames. My downfall was that I left everything out so that I could return to it the following day. I was being efficient. . . so I thought. What actually happened was that my two-year-old decided to ‘help’ with the painting while I was cooking dinner. She managed to add her own flair to much of my detailed work on the frames.
Kids are cute for a reason. If my progeny wasn’t so adorable in that moment as she was irreparably altering my hard work, I might have gotten mad. Really all I could do was place blank paper in front of her and clean up my work as best I could.
Tuesday, day six, I was repainting my work. It was on this day that I began to realize that I might not make the deadline. Odd conversations played out in my head.
Voice #1 in Kate’s Head: Even if you don’t make the deadline, you should be proud of what you accomplished.
Voice #2 in Kate’s Head: Shut up. We will make the deadline.
Voice #1 in Kate’s Head: There is no shame in being a bit over ambitious.
Voice #2 in Kate’s Head: SHUT UP! I will make my unrealistic self-imposed deadline!
My work was not done when I went to bed that night.
Wednesday morning, the final day, I woke up early and painted until I went to work. I skipped my lunch so that I could come home early and paint. I finished the work with hours to spare. . . And it took a couple hours to fill out the online entry form to submit the work.
In the end, I made my deadline and my ego was once again inflated.
Then a few weeks went by and I got another email stating that my work was rejected and would not be included in the exhibit.
Humbled once again.
All well. At least I have some interesting wall hangings depicting a few of the young people in my life who make me a happier person.