Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Louisiana Watercolor Society's 41st Annual International Exhibition

A couple of weeks ago Noelle and I drove down to New Orleans for the opening of the LWS 41st International Exhibition. One of my paintings had been accepted for the show and we thought it would be a great chance to visit a city we both love and see a collection of amazing work at the show. Neither of us had been to New Orleans in more than 10 years and although I visited quite a few times over the years we had let that destination slip for a while. We stayed with an old friend in the Irish Channel just off of Magazine Street and as always New Orleans never disappoints. On two points the trip was a surprise. Firstly the weather was absolutely gorgeous. Low 80's and no humidity and secondly, my painting 5th Avenue in Rain, was awarded the First Honorable Mention at the show.

Although I've entered quite a few juried shows over the last couple of years actually showing up for an opening is not something I do with regularity. Some of the shows would require serious travel, but the real reason is I simply don't like viewing my work with any ideas about individual merit in mind. Don't get me wrong, I am extremely thankful when I am awarded an honor or specific recognition, but if one doesn't win, which is often enough, I don't like the idea of that particular image losing any of it's charm on a personal level. Being juried is not easy....

Watching your wife watching you being juried is one hell of a good laugh.

I thought I got worked up. She looked like a little red ballon slowly filling with air. As each ribbon was handed out a little more air went in. At some point I realized I was either going to get an award or have to physically remove her from the building.  Just seeing how much it meant to Noelle was enough for me. She sees me painting daily, she is called on to critique my work, and at times she'd rather be smacked with a fish than have to look at another of my paintings with any interest, but there she was holding her breath and counting ribbons still left on the table. Well my name was called and I went up to have my photo taken. Looking back, I saw Noelle was being congratulated by the people around her and I think that's absolutely fitting. We do this together.

The downside? She wanted me to wear the baby blue ribbon pinned to my shirt.... uh, no.

All in all a great weekend, great friends, good food, music, and what a damned good group of watercolors.

5th Avenue in Rain

Andre and Noelle on Magazine