The day that Oil Painters of America announced the artists accepted for the 25th Annual National Show was certainly not one of my happier days. Scanning through the list, my name was not to be found. Having been accepted for the National on a regular basis, the 25th was particularly important because it was near home and was being held in the gallery that represents me. So, it was definitely a difficult pill to swallow. However, to dwell on the loss would be selfish as there are probably 1800 other artists that didn’t make the cut either. What is one to do? Continue to work hard, keep the head up, and never settle for anything but one’s best.

Opening reception of 25th Oil Painters of America National Exhibition and Convention, held in Dallas, TX at Southwest Gallery.

Opening reception of 25th Oil Painters of America National Exhibition and Convention, held in Dallas, TX at Southwest Gallery.

 

All was not lost however, OPA asked me to conduct two 1.5 hour interviews during the four-day convention. The first was with my friend, Jeff Legg, an OPA Master Signature artist. It was a time to investigate Jeff’s art journey: Background, Career, Painting Motivation, Process, Sage Advice, and Goals.

I had the pleasure of interviewing my friend, OPA Master Signature artist, Jeff Legg (right)

I had the pleasure of interviewing my friend, OPA Master Signature artist, Jeff Legg (right)

 

The second interview immediately followed. Five very serious art collectors made up the panel. An interesting tidbit…if one was to combine each of their collections into one, there would be over 680 works of art assembled. “The Art of Collecting” focused on three areas: 1) Understanding the Mind of an Art Collector, 2) Preferred Methods of Researching and Purchasing Art, 3) The Artist/Collector Relationship.

I’ve been promised recordings of these interviews. If I receive them, I hope to share over time key points from each interview.

The Collectors Panel. (left to right): John Pototschnik, Jim Bruce, Hank Beckman, Mary Beckman, Tim Newton.

The Collectors Panel. (left to right): John Pototschnik, Jim Bruce, Hank Beckman, Mary Beckman, Tom Vining, Tim Newton.

 

The 25th Oil Painters of America National Show and Convention held at Southwest Gallery in Dallas, May 12-15, had something for everyone…informative lectures, painting demonstrations, plein air competition, interviews, silent auctions, raffles, meals, new and renewed friendships, good deals on art supplies, AND AWARDS.  It was the awards that everyone was interested in…about $100,000 worth…the top prize being thirty-thousand.

I came away from the convention inspired to try some new things, and filled with appreciation for new acquaintances made and friendships confirmed.

Here are some photos from this fantastic event.

Huihan Lin - "At Mt. Tangulla Pass, Northern Tibet" - 30" x 24" (Gold Medal, Master Division)

Huihan Lin – “At Mt. Tangulla Pass, Northern Tibet” – 30″ x 24″ (Gold Medal, Master Division)

Derek Penix - "Spade Fish" - 40" x 40" - (Gold Medal, $30,000 prize. Associate/Signature member division)

Derek Penix – “Spade Fish” – 40″ x 40″ – (Gold Medal, $30,000 prize. Associate/Signature Member Division)

Daud Akhriev - "Harbor Conversation" - 12" x 23" (Silver Medal, Associate/Signature member division)

Daud Akhriev – “Harbor Conversation” – 12″ x 23″ (Silver Medal, Associate/Signature Member Division)

Nancy Boren - "Thunder on the Brazos" - 30" x 24" (Nancy had a very big night. She was recognized as a Signature Member, but her painting was also awarded the Bronze Medal, Artist's Choice Awards.

Nancy Boren – “Thunder on the Brazos” – 30″ x 24″ (Nancy had a very big night. She was recognized as a new Signature Member, and her painting was also awarded the Bronze Medal and Artist’s Choice Awards).

Elizabeth Pollie  with her winning painting.

Elizabeth Pollie with her winning painting.

Elizabeth Pollie - "Halfway Home" - 30" x 30" (Mellin Fellowship Award, $20,000)

Elizabeth Pollie – “Halfway Home” – 30″ x 30″ (Mellin Fellowship Award, $20,000)

Kevin Macpherson, Juror of Awards, with his painting "Laguna Cliffside" - 30" x 40"

Kevin Macpherson, Juror of Awards, with his painting “Laguna Cliffside” – 30″ x 40″  (Is this guy an entertaining character, or what? He is not only a great teacher but a warm person with a gentle and hilarious demeanor)

Rusty Jones - "House on the Point" - 10" x 20" - Oil  (Best of Show, Plein Air Competition)

Rusty Jones – “House on the Point” – 10″ x 20″ – Oil (Best of Show, Plein Air Competition)

 

In addition to the many awards given the night of the reception, attendees were also treated to some excellent painting demonstrations during the convention.

Kevin Macpherson demo

Kevin Macpherson demo

Working from a model, three artists demonstrate their painting techniques.

Working from a model, three artists demonstrate their painting techniques.

Suzie Baker with her painting

Suzie Baker with her painting

The painting

The painting

Closeup detail

Closeup detail

Aimee Erickson with her completed work.

Aimee Erickson with her completed work.

Aimee Erickson's demo - 16" x 20"

Aimee Erickson’s demo – 16″ x 20″

Anna Rose Bain with her completed demo.

Anna Rose Bain with her completed demo.

Anna Rose Bain did a great demo - 16" x 12"

A beautiful little painting – 16″ x 12″

Mitch Baird demonstrates his landscape painting techniques.

Mitch Baird with his beautiful landscape demonstration.

Joseph Gyurcsak not only taught an excellent lesson on the "Successful elements of design in painting", but also gave a painting demonstration.

Joseph Gyurcsak not only taught an excellent lesson on the “Successful elements of design in painting”, but also gave a painting demonstration.

Qiang Huang's magnificent demonstration piece

Qiang Huang’s magnificent demonstration piece.

Jeff Legg created this painting  on the last day of the convention.

Jeff Legg created this painting on the last day of the convention.

 

Thanks to Gary Frisk for providing some of the photos for this article.

Gary Frisk with his wife, Kathleen, and Dianne Frossard (left).

Gary Frisk with his wife, Kathleen, and Dianne Frossard (left).

OPA President-Elect, John Michael Carter, with his wife Barbara.

OPA President-Elect, John Michael Carter, with his wife Barbara.

 

There you have it…a wonderful event. Inspiring indeed. Please stay tuned to this blog post. I will be conducting interviews in the future with some of these special artists.

 

John Pototschnik is an Art Renewal Center Associate Living Master
To view his art and bio, please click HERE