Sunday, April 27, 2008


I'm back! We only had 3 days and 4 nights in New York but they were jammed with exciting activities. The weather was spectacular in the high 70's and all the flowering trees were in bloom. I spent a few minutes in Central Park while waiting for a gallery to open, so I did a small plein aire painting which I have posted. Everywhere people were enjoying being outside. We lived in New York our first year of marriage and I hated every minute of it. It was a rude, mean, dirty unfriendly place. What a difference 45 years make! There was no graffiti, the subway was relatively clean, people were pleasant and helpful. You still see people talking to themselves but now they are on cell phones.

The Salmagundi Club is housed in an old historic home. It has been an art club for many years. One of the photos is the outside of the building where the AWS banner and a poster advertising the exhibit were on display. We met up with some other exhibitors on Thursday afternoon to view the show as it is too crowded during the dinner to really study the paintings. The show is on two levels and all the work was truly remarkable. So many styles and techniques. We were anxious to see the Gold Medal Winning painting in person as it looks so much like a photograph in the catalogue. Honestly, we peered and peered closely at it and it still looked like a photograph!! Amazing! I have no idea how she was able to paint like that. The Silver Medal painting was the polar opposite in feeling....very playful and inventive in every way. It was fun meeting the artist, Mark Mehaffey. His personality matched his painting. I also had the pleasure of spending some time with Donna Zagotta, who is not only an outstanding painter but one of the very best workshop instructors around. I am looking forward to taking her workshop in September.

Friday evening was the long anticipated event, the Awards Dinner. I met and enjoyed talking to many more of the artists in attendance, including Jean Pederson who was so complimentary and wanted to get together and paint sometime. She promised to show me how to get that great background texture explained in her book. I made such a mess of it on my first try.

There were cocktails in the downstairs gallery and everyone had a chance to mill about. I met one gentleman, Anthony Ventura, who is 81 years old and was receiving his signature membership this year. He has been trying for 25 years and was so excited and justifiably proud.

They set up tables in the upstairs gallery for the sitdown dinner. Frank Webb was the master of ceremonies and he told lots of jokes, some of which were funny. The president, Janet Walsh, handed out the awards and everyone had their photo taken. I received the CFS Medal which is very beautiful and quite heavy. It would make a nice paper weight for the desk but I think I will display it on a shelf.

Like everything, one waits and anticipates and then it is over in a flash. But, it was a beautiful moment in time.

My good friend, Mike Bailey, also was an exhibitor for the first time this year with AWS. We spent lots of our time in New York with him and his adorable wife, Diana. That made the trip that much more fun and enjoyable. I will post more of the highlights of the trip tomorrow along with a slide show.


RHCarpenter said...

Welcome back, Myrna! We missed you! I'm so happy you had a good time and you enjoyed your visit and this wonderful honor - more photos to come, I hope! Love the one of you with your painting that won!

Michelle Himes said...

I'm glad that the whole NYC/AWS experience was so much fun for you. It always is a great show - wish I could have been there with you to meet all those artists. The day I went the place was pretty empty (good for really looking at the paintings). And what fun, to get to do a painting in Central Park!

Congratulations again, Myrna.

mary Crowell said...

I love the way you write such a descriptive journey, I felt like I was there with you, congratulations on such a wonderful accomplishment, at least you didn't have to wait til you were 81!!

Ambara said...

Congratulations Myrna, very impressive. It sounds like you had a great time in New York with all your colleagues, especially Mike Bailey and Donna Zagotta, I agree with you Donna is a great workshop instructor I took a course with her and it was worth every penny, she was very dedicated and conscientious.

I am hoping you will have a new challenge for the new month, I am looking forward to it.

Nava said...

Sounds like you made the may out of your trip. And I have to say you look very glamorous!

Ahhh - Jean Pederson - that's an artist I would love to meet! And yes, Donna Zagotta is an incredible person and instructor.

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