|"Bloom" by Val Hebert, detail, from the 2014 GTS submission|
I was very much on the fence about entering this year's Global Talent Search (GTS), as put on by the enormously talented Lilla Rogers (find out more here). Lilla is one of the top artist's agents in the world. For the past year and a half, I have taken her online classes, MATS A & B(Make Art That Sells), and then MATS Bootcamp, offering a slower pace than the more stressful 1-assignment-per-week schedule from the MATS classes. Lilla's classes and assignments are packed full of information, guidance, and the prompts are very much "in the now", meaning one can certainly get immediate work from doing Lilla's assignments. In fact, we watched as artist after artist landed amazing jobs left and right during and after taking these classes. It was and is very exciting to see artists transform from "nobody" to a "Somebody" right before your eyes. Kudos to all the very talented artists I have had the fortune to meet and get to know in these wonderful MATS classes!
As for me, the classes proved I was at a distinct disadvantage without a solid background in graphic illustration. I am more of a classically trained artist, working pen to paper, so to speak. I make all my items individually. Nothing is altered or managed on the computer. I do not have a good relationship with Photoshop! If I make a mistake in my work, it is generally a "do-over," or a go with the flow and let the accident become a happy one. So, I found myself discouraged and listless about continuing to push and try hard within this very talented pool of mainly graphic artists.
But, then, at the last minute, I got a dose of courage and a "throw all caution to the wind", and I signed up. It was literally the last day you could enter the competition. What was I thinking? All of this in August, to boot, this crazy busy August of me doing three shows, teaching two classes, taking two out of town trips... Man, when this artist goes crazy, she goes really crazy!!!
The assignment came out, and it was actually right up my alley: create a piece of wall art with a Terrarium theme. Ok, I can do this, I thought. So, I went all Andy Warhol, and just put paint to board and made art.
Initially, my idea was to incorporate needle felted mushrooms to a canvas painted with a wooded theme. I created the mushrooms with painstaking precision, I might add (sheesh), but putting this idea together proved challenging. Sometimes those visions in my brain just don't mesh with what my hands are creating. So... frustration loomed. I needed something new, and fast. Needle felting plants takes quite some time...
In the meantime, the mushroom terrarium was born. I love this... and will have to make more :o)
But then, that night, the design was thankfully worked out in my head while I slept. I dreamed the woodland theme had to change to a zeriscape desert theme (my husband is a Landscape Architect, and living in SoCAL, we are all about succulents here). So, trees were replaced with cactus, and hot colors became cool, and a bird was added :o) The needle felted mushrooms were replaced with a cactus bloom (love). It all came together in a flash after that. I submitted my design to the GTS gallery with a happy heart, knowing that I have certainly put forth my best effort.
Here is my submission:
|"Bloom" by Val Hebert, 2014 GTS Submission, collage on board with |
acrylic and paint sticks, and a 3-D needle felted plant-on bloom
Please hold good thoughts for me that I make the top 50. Of course, I realize that whatever will be will be. That I have no idea whether others will love or hate it, and throwing caution to the wind simply means I am hoping to bloom if this is where I'm meant to be planted!