Carmel Art Festival: Show, Awards, Silent Auction & The “Quick Draw”

The Show and Awards

The show was open to the public Saturday morning at 10am.  Each artist shows what he or she considers their best 2 paintings of the short week.  The judges for the show started their process of selecting award winning paintings earlier that morning at 8:00am.  The awards were posted shortly after 10am. Over the past 3 years of this event my work as been blessed receiving many awards which have included the “Emerging Artist of the Year” and “Honorable Mention” in 2006 , “Best of Show” and “Mayor’s Choice” in 2006, “People’s Choice” and “Artist Choice” for best painting in 2007 and an “Honorable Mention” in 2008. Needless to say I was hopeful, I considered this years painting of “Afternoon at Rocky Point” to be one of my best.  After all the ribbons were posted my paintings had none.

This happened to my work in 2007 as well, my paintings did not receive any awards from the judges, but I did receive the “People’s Choice” and “Artist’s Choice” awards for my painting “Dancing Cypress”. (See past winners, 2007) These awards are obviously chosen by the people attending the show as well as my peers, the artists. These 2 awards are always an honor to receive. The winning painting of the “People’s Choice” award is used in all the marketing material for the following year including the show poster.

There were a few awards still remaining. These awards are given by the Patrons, Artists and Board of the Carmel Art Festival.  Later that afternoon my painting “Afternoon at Rocky Point” received the “Jennifer Hill Award of Merit”.  This award is given by the Board of the Carmel Art Festival and is in honor of Jennifer Hill, one of the founders of the Carmel Art Festival 16 years ago.  The painting also received the “People’s Choice” award for best painting as well which means that this piece will appear on the poster for the 2010 Carmel Art Festival as well as all marketing materials.

Afternoon at Rocky Point, 14 x 18, "Jennifer Hill" and "People's Choice" awards

Afternoon at Rocky Point, 14 x 18, "Jennifer Hill" and "People's Choice" awards

Awards at these shows are an interesting thing.  Judging a show of 120 paintings must also be just as interesting.  As artists we can never believe that the quality of our work is acknowledged solely by the awards they do or do not receive.  This is achieved through the constant desire to grow as an artist and to learn from one painting to the next. For our next painting to be better than our last. To Persevere.  I must admit that this is easier said than done. Next month in June I’ll have the opportunity to experience the other side of awards; I’ll be judging the show for the “Western Society of Artists” annual show in Northern California. My desire is to be objective, not looking for work that fits my particular style but work that’s accomplished regardless of style or medium.

The Auction

Later that evening 5 paintings from the show went to live auction.  Any work receiving 10 or more silent auction bids go to live auction. I was lucky enough to have both of my paintings go to live auction both selling for well above their retail values.

The “Quick Draw”

The next day all of the award winning artists participated in the “Quick Draw” event.  Each artist is given 2 hours to paint an image and return it framed ready for the show and silent auction. I chose to drive to Pacific Grove to paint the dunes. A bit of a risk considering the driving time (about 15 minutes). This gave me about 1 1/2 hours to paint, a few minutes to frame and the remaining time to drive back to Carmel (I like to keep things exciting). The painting went well. The piece was very popular among the artists and patrons and sold very quickly. Unfortunately I have no image of this painting to show.


All in all the show was a huge success.  I enjoyed a few days of painting and seeing old friends that I haven’t seen for a while. But it was also very good to get home to my family. I’ve been away from home for the better part of 2 weeks participating in this event as well as Sonoma Plein Air.


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