|Oregon duck stamp entry|
But not always.
Recently, I entered another duck stamp contest for the state of Oregon. The species choices were ring-necked duck, harlequin, bufflehead or ruddy duck. I chose to do a pair of ring-necked ducks in early pre-dawn light mainly because that was the species I had the best reference for.
I basically combined these two images into a final painting.
I worked very hard to depict the ducks accurately and was satisfied with the piece when I sent it off.
The judging took place on Nov. 4th at the Duck Pond Winery, but I was not chosen. I didn't even make the top five. Was I disappointed? You bet. I had worked hard on that piece and knew the competition would be tough. I just didn't realize how tough. The top five paintings were incredible in their level of detail and realism.
You can view the other entries here:
So, you win some, you lose some. You just never know who you will be competing against or what the judges are looking for. I have to admit that I had to ask myself some hard questions after this because if I intend to keep competing I'm definitely going to have to up my game. Is this something that I want to do or am I satisfied with just creating art that makes people happy. Well, I decided I want to do both! Sometimes a little healthy competition stretches us to do better and I'm just competitive enough to want to play with the big boys and girls in this realm. I don't have to win all the duck stamp contests, but I'd sure like to win more than just one and in the process if it helps me create better art then it's a win-win situation all around.
So what's next? Well, there's a contest for Washington in December and N. Carolina in January. I am planning on entering both. I have been out the past few days gathering reference photos as the ducks and geese are migrating through my area. I have a lot of work ahead of me if I hope to do better on these next contests!
Oh, and I almost forgot! I will be getting my painting back in the next week or so and it will be for sale on my Daily Paintworks site so watch for it there. It might not have won a contest, but it still could make someone happy!