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Carmel Art Festival: Well-Soaked Success

When I think of May in the coastal California city of Carmel, “torrential downpours” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.

In fact, most years the hills are already going brown by late spring … wait, we just finished with the rainy season and we don’t even get to enjoy green hills without rain-gear? No fair!

Even though I’m used to fog, gray skies and a little drizzle as typical weather during the Carmel Art Festivals of years past, the possibility of painting outdoors in a heavy storm was a new one!

The show must go on. Plein air events are planned months in advance, and accommodations can’t really be changed. To make matters worse, I was planning on camping during the event! Could the circumstances get any worse?

Fortunately, in the two days of painting we had, there were pockets of pleasant weather in between ‘tropical-esque’ storm conditions that we fit painting time into. In this time, I managed to paint my 20”x24” painting “Well Nourished”(the largest painting I had attempted outdoors) which ended up winning me a $1000 prize!

I could have decided to go smaller with my paintings. I could have told myself, “it’s not worth trying to go big, especially not in this weather.” I could have even given up and gone home, conceding defeat to Mother Nature.

Instead, I stretched myself beyond my comfort zone and made beauty out of a drab situation, and was recognized by the judge! My prize-ribbon wall grows, and my wallet grows too :)

Perseverance results in success. By honoring my vision and tenacity and working on the painting to completion, I was rewarded for my effort.

"My Day Off" 6x8 inches.

The next time the odds are stacked against you, I want to challenge you to pay attention:

When your resistance manifests in an urge to retreat, can you break through it and paint your way to the finish line?

"Waiting For Rain" 6x8 inches.

Even if you don’t win the cash prize, you will still walk away with the satisfaction of knowing that you didn’t let forces outside of your control defeat you. And that’s a great quality to reinforce in yourself.

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