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The Sketchie Beast Awarded 'Best of Show'

The San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health's exhibition, Meet the Artist at San Bernardino County Museum was quite a success. There were many fine artworks and I found myself in lofty company. However, I did add another first to the accomplishments of my still-emerging career: my first award. A Director's Best of Show for my piece A Tree Alone, and I couldn't have been more surprised...and pleased.

The artworks were showcased at the museum's Fisk Gallery and the reception was a full house. I was excited to see a line forming outside the museum (even if I had to stand in it myself) as I didn't anticipate that large a crowd. The Department of Behavioral Health did a bang up job in presenting this exhibition to the public and I was proud to be a part of it.

Many people took photos of my artwork (unlike other artists, I have no problem with that) and I overheard one visitor say she wanted to walk into my 'painting' and lie on the grass. Again, many people were surprised to discover that my art is digital. While most believe my medium to be watercolor, there was one visitor who could spot right away the digital signature of clean edges, although he did tell me my digital art has more depth than most he's come across. As an artist, I love hearing such insights.

All the artworks had to be in the theme of either mental health challenges or wellness. I believe the description that accompanied my artwork played a part in the Director's award:

When a very meaningful relationship had ended (in tandem with my father's death), I spent a long period of time alone. While it was my first instinct to find 'another port in a storm', I was clearly able to reflect on my life's worth and purpose in my solitude, with no interference or distraction.

The Department of Behavioral Health spokesperson said they received more entries this year than ever before. Not just local or regional, but from all over the country. They had to sift through all that they received to showcase but a fraction. So believe it when I say...I am truly honored to receive this acknowledgment amongst all the great artworks on display that day. And I'm hoping it's the first of more to come.

NEXT STOP: The Ontario Museum of History and Art where my piece, A Cat, A Crow and Banjoe is now on display. News to follow on the artists' reception in July.



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