In 2011, a friend of mine suggested to me that I should think about joining the Night of Artists next time they had an opening. At the time I didn’t take him too seriously and just thought he was being kind. In January of 2013, that same friend told me that NOA was putting out a call for artists and had planned their NOA gala weekend to take place at the Enjoy Centre in St. Albert. This time I felt compelled to join the Night of Artists; it was one of those feeling that you just can’t explain. I went to the meeting Phil Alain, creator and head hauncho of NOA put on about the show and the group, but I didn’t sign up right away. I decided it would be better if I thought about it over night; even though I had this unexplained feeling that I needed to join this group, I wanted to be sure this is what I really wanted; but of course I was so excited that I got in touch with Phil the next day and submitted my art to be juried. I was so pleased to hear back from him quite quickly and started to get ready for the show that would take place within six weeks. It was a stressful endeavour, but I was determined.
My husband had passed away 5 months previously and I’m not sure why I felt this incredible pull towards this group of outstanding professional artists. Was it because I needed to get back to painting? Did I just need to keep busy? Was it the challenge? Or was it God’s way of leading me once again in the direction that I was supposed to go in?
As it turned out the show was so much fun, I learned so much and got to meet and get to know so many amazing artists. Although, at first I was a bit intimidated to be included in this group, it turned out that they are a very special group of people. So generous of spirit, supportive of one another and just plain fun. This past March I participated in my second show at The Enjoy Centre and met a few more artists, a few that were new to the group and some who had rejoined. The weekend was a huge success for me in sales, and again, the fun factor was high!
One of the things that I admire about Phil Alain, is he is all about the artists. Encouraging, supportive and giving us opportunities that we would find hard to find on our own. One of those opportunities is to have our art in his NOA magazine. If you are a member of the group you are automatically included, if not, you can always buy an ad. As a group member you also have the opportunity to get your art on the cover of the magazine. In 2013, Phil for the first time put it into the hands of the artists. He had a contest, the first part was on Facebook and the top 5 paintings to get the most votes got into the second round of voting, plus two wild cards that the NOA staff picked. The second and last round of voting took place by secret ballet and was participated in by all the NOA artists, sponsors, or anyone else who was involved with the magazine. In the last two years my paintings have gotten into the second round of votes, and incredibly this year my painting “Boats at Portsoy ll” won the cover!!
I hadn’t been sure about submitting the boats, I had another painting in mind, but when I thought about this being the 10th anniversary edition and which painting, out of all my paintings would make a good cover, I decided it had to be the boats. I am so glad I submitted it and I am so excited to join the ranks of Denise Lefebvre, Oksansa Zhelisko and Igor Postash as cover artists.
What a night, what an experience! I am so grateful to everyone who helped me get the cover, I am so grateful to Phil Alain for giving us these wonderful opportunities, and I am so extremely grateful to God, for continuing to lead me in the direction He wants to to go in, for giving me this gift and surrounding me with people who support and believe in me.
Original photo reference: Jeff Barclay, Ferndale, WA, USA