This is what spring looks like

 A lot has happened this amazing 2012 Spring.

 \This is what spring looks like, originally uploaded by pejnolan.


"Clearing at the Ridges"

"Clearing at the Ridges", originally uploaded by pejnolan.
There are pivotal and poignant times in a person's life: sometimes these moments are found in fleeting instances that no one else would recognize. Then there are situations that take control of your life and lead you in directions you did not want and would not choose, yet here they are for everyone to witness.

It is in these times that define a person's character. It is not what happens to you that determines how far you will go in life; it is how you handle what happens to you.

I entered the Rockford Art Museum's "Rockford Midwestern Biennial" art show 3 times. The first time in 2008. No pieces were juried in. I was sad, but had not been working with my artwork for very long and didn't feel any regret. I took it as a challenge.

The second time in 2010, three out of three pieces were accepted and I was happy to have met this personal challenge.

This year, 2012, my entries took on a private, symbolic meaning to me. It was very important that I be accepted. I've had some major setbacks in life recently. I really needed to proof to myself that I could do this art thing. I needed this stamp of approval to move forward, not just creatively, but emotionally. I know it placed an awful lot of importance on a single show whose result was out of my control after all the jury process simply mean that 1 person saw my work and deemed it "art."

After sending in my entry, I had to wait 31 days to hear the result.

I saw the SASE in the post office box with its distinctive sharpie marker writing. My hands were shaking and I breathed in as I ripped oven the envelope. My brother and sister-in-law watched as I carefully unfolded the letter, uncertain of its contents.

I was accepted!! TWICE!! Thank you, God! Two pieces were accepted into the show: "Clearing at the Ridges" (top) and "Cave Point Park", Moku Hanga. (below) Both are woodblock prints; however the "Clearing at the Ridges" used a Western type of water-soluble ink which was applied to the block with a brayer while the "Cave Point Park" print used a traditional Japanese method of moku hanga wherein the ink is made of watercolor and rice paste and is applied with a brush.

Both hand-lifted print editions will be available at Plum Bottom Gallery, Egg Harbor, Wisconsin during the Summer of 2012.
Rockford Art Museum's Exhibition Gallery
2012 Rockford Midwestern
May 18-Sep 23, 2012

The Rockford Midwestern surveys the breadth and depth of contemporary art in the Midwest today. First held as an annual showcase for local artists, this biennial juried exhibition marks its 72nd presentation in 2012. Artists residing in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin were eligible to participate. More than 230 artists submitted 674 works for consideration by 2012 Juror Lisa Stone, curator of the Roger Brown Study Collection at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The Dean Alan Olson Purchase Award will be presented May 18 at the preview for museum members and exhibiting artists.

This exhibition is organized by Rockford Art Museum. The museum purchase award is made possible by support from the Dean Alan Olson Foundation. The 2012 Rockford Midwestern is sponsored by Jill and Tom Becker, Fran and Jim Knutson, Amy and Dean Olson, Pat and Jim Olson, Jane Smith; Art in the Garden; and partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
If you are in Rockford, Illinois May 18th, for the reception and awards ceremony, please stop in as my guest. I would love to have you there to celebrate with me.
"Cave Point Park" moku hanga originally uploaded by pejnolan.