Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Win Some Lose Some


Turning Over a New Leaf

Last month, Vermont College of Fine Arts, whose praises I have many times sung in this space, sent out a call to alumni for artwork to use on an invitation to their annual Spring Open House to be held March 31st 2012.  Having always felt a reverent and grateful connection to the amazing life-altering and life-affirming capacity of this institution, I promptly sent them the image above for consideration. You may remember it from my September 20, 2010 post by the same name. I’ve come a long way since then!

 From an Email Dated December 23rd

Just before the holidays, the announcement went out that my photograph had won the contest! This was probably one of the best Christmas gifts I have ever received, and especially significant coming within weeks of my relocation to Vermont. Way back in 2010, when I was still in the first uncertain months of establishing myself as a working artist, Vermont College chose the Two Tigers photograph that now serves as the logo for all my creative endeavors to grace the cover of their Winter Newsletter. At the time, it felt like a pat on the back from an old friend, a sure sign to proceed with confidence on my chosen albeit challenging path. And now at another critical juncture in my journey, I feel that friendly encouragement yet again.

 All Journeys Lead Homewards
It seems ironic, to say the least, that my reward for winning the contest (as if having my image used in this way was not reward enough!) was the lovely duffle bag pictured above, available for purchase in the VCFA Store, and not likely to get much use now that I am living in a place I never want to leave, even for a weekend! But when I do use it, I will remember when I was a student, traveling to Montpelier twice a year to experience what VCFA had to offer. It will be a tangible way of taking Vermont with me wherever I go, even as the Green Mountain State and my experience at VCFA continue to enrich and expand my life in intangible, unexpected but utterly timely and apt ways. It means more to me than I can express that they chose to use my work to represent their message and mission as they reach out to prospective students.  To the College I say thanks. To future students I say – prepare to be changed.

From a Letter Dated January 7, 2012
You may have noticed that the title of this post is “Win Some Lose Some.” I wish the second half of that phrase described ten pounds miraculously shed from my body since last I wrote, but, alas, it refers to the contents of the letter pictured above.  Days before the end of 2011, I dropped off a submission of six of my favorite, and, arguably, best black and white images for consideration to be chosen and exhibited as one of five women artists featured at the Chaffee Art Center’s Women in the Arts festival being held next month.  I spent an entire day agonizing over which images to select, in such a way that they would constitute a coherent and compelling body of work, which is not a bad exercise to put yourself through from time to time, regardless of outcome. It would have been a lovely way to begin the new year, with a semi-solo show mere blocks from my new home. On a lighter note, anyone who has received their share and more of rejection letters will appreciate how quickly my eyes ran right past the “thank you” to the “but.”  I think I saw it before the letter was out of its envelope!  Not to worry, I already have other projects and opportunities ahead, not to mention lots of film waiting to be put to use towards expanding a collection of work worthy of submission and exhibition, so I am looking ahead to that instead of wondering whether I would do better as a Vermont artist if I did more landscapes.
 No More Landscapes
Just kidding about no more landscapes. It's hard to resist them around here! Until next week, best wishes and thanks to all my followers, near and far, old and new. You truly keep me going!

21 comments:

  1. Lol (comment about 10 pounds) and your eyes skipping to the important info in a letter (do that one too)! Congratulations on your accomplishments. What you don't achieve doesn't matter as you are well on your way to where you'd like to be going.

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  2. TT/G - absolutely brilliant photograph of the leaf - one of those shots that one can leave proudly for all time. So many invitations and so few acceptances. Funny how as artists we get so excited by the invitations and so disappointed by the non-acceptence. How many people were actually invited? How many people were worthy of being invited? Funny how we only feel we have been recognised when we are accepted rather than the accolades of even being in that group who are worthy of being invited? A ramble I know; and I know it doesn't pay the bills but you were invited and lots of people weren't - to me that says you are doing stuff that is recognised. So congratulations on being invited. B

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  3. That stunning photo is a winner and I was so thrilled to see that it won, and then you got a prize as well! Yippee! I know what you mean about having read the rejection before you read the letter - I'm amazed how our eyes zip thru information and grab that stuff before we even have time to reach it. Sigh. In the end it means this, not that, and we move on....Go well, F

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  4. Ah.....the ongoing rollercoaster ride....one minute elation and in the next the wind is taken out of our sales. Your photography is beautiful and of course, someone is making choices. But....you are off to a great start in a new location which you love....many more wonderful news awaits!!! Cheers!

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  5. With a lot of faffing around I can comment today. I am so happy that you are achieving some much deserved recognition - and it was a stunning shot. You present beauty with every post - and thank you for that, it is a huge gift.

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  6. A beautiful photograph with a leaf coming down to earth..
    Captured by your camera the moment it falls..
    This is truly a winner!!
    Congratulations!!!!

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  7. Hey G,
    Congrats on the win!! That's the encouragement we need sometimes to keep the creative fires burning!!

    All the best,
    D.

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  8. TB, Wong, Barry, Fiona, Patti, Sue, Monika and Douglas - Thanks so much for your kind encouragements, especially since Blogger went insane right after I put up this post and made commenting a challenge. Something went awry with my formatting as well! I truly appreciate each and every one of you - onward and upward!

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  9. Hi Gabriella,

    Congratulations on the VCFA selection! Your photo is stunning - it feels like a magical moment of transition. And what a wonderful reconnection to a source of inspiration and development in your life, just as you've moved to Vermont, too.

    I'm sorry to hear about your disappointment with the Chaffee Art Center. And glad that you're continuing the make the art you need to make, regardless of what Vermont artists are "supposed to" do :-)

    In the "moving on" department, I noticed your bicycle calendar, and thought of you when I saw this: http://thedairy.org/bike-art-at-the-dairy/

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  10. JMG - Thanks for referring me to a new opportunity! This looks like just the thing in terms of making sure another door opens after one closes! And I even have a little time before the deadline to pull myself together! Have a great weekend - your good deed has earned you that and more!

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  11. Congratulations Gabriella, i'm sure your work will get noticed in Ver mont,i look forward to see the landscapes over there through your eyes,xx

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  12. Thanks so much Renilde. The initial shock of the Chaffee rejection is fading fast, and today I went over to the VCFA website and saw my leaf image prominently displayed, so I am happy and hopeful again! It will take time to find my vision again here in this new place, but I am sure once it happens, good new work will flow freely and be well received! All the best to you!

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  13. Hi Gabriella, I have truly enjoyed reading your post. Congratulations on the win and go on! I am so glad for you.

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  14. Many thanks, Luis! I'm very proud of the leaf photo - many good memories connected to the day it was shot, and it does seem to have a life of its own!

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  15. The winner foto is simply a master work...
    great Gabriella

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  16. Laura, your comment means so much to me! Now I am truly a winner!

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  17. Please, post all the landscapes you want! Landscapes are encouraged! Here in LA I have the smoggy skyline and some buildings. I have to live vicariously through someone!

    Congrats on your win, and sympathies with your... I won't call it a loss, because nothing was taken from you, but I will say I am sympathetic towards the opportunity that passed you by. Oh, but there are so many more, always just around the corner, as you said. :)

    Hugs,
    Tracy

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  18. Such a wonderful victory is no doubt worth 100 defeats. To feel so confident about that what we believe in, to see that our effort and sacrifices led to a reward, to see that other people admire our work and also is able to feel and understand what we express by means of our creations, is something that cannot be expressed with words. How happy I feel myself to see that those seeds you planted are starting to sprout, like a little plant growing to the sky,,so fragile but that one day will become solid and huge like a tree :) Congratulations !! but above it all, thanks for sharing and inspire us to go after that what we dream with !! :) :)

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  19. Hi Tracy - thanks for the congrats and sympathies both! I've been thinking a lot about what I want to capture here and how, and it had crossed my mind that it isn't just about me, but preserving something here for others to whom it might not be as abundant or obvious! So, landscapes will not entirely disappear from my repertoire! Have a great weekend, and try to fit some fun in with all the busy!

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  20. Alberto, your words mean so much to me, so true, so kind. It is not about the quantity of collected "victories," but the quality of each one, its meaning and value to me. Ever onward!

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