Art Competitions !

Art Competitions !

Phew, what a week , we are so busy here in our little corner of Devon. Exam results are out, kids are making decisions, they are growing up but on that cusp between childhood and adulthood. Moving forward, but needing our help now and then to nudge them ( hopefully) in the right direction. Devon is slowly moving towards Autumn , and the countryside is constantly changing.

I am struggling with my tooth, I have to take medication to keep me stable but it makes my teeth brittle and liable to brake. It also makes dentistry challenging, but an infection has almost brought me to my knees. So I am off to the dental hospital next week for some work on my jaw and removal of my wisdom tooth, I shall be very glad when that's over, but my artwork may go a little quiet for a day or 2. 

I am trying to make the most of my walks and my Devon views.

The apple trees are full of apples and the hedgerows are ripe with blackberries.

This week has also been the award ceremony for the Wildlife Artist of the Year. It used to be held in London, and we would travel excitedly to the Mall Galleries and stand in awe at all the wildlife art on show, but since covid , it has been a virtual event. If I am honest I miss the buzz of going to London, and sipping champagne , but the standard of the art is none the less breathtaking.

I urge you if you haven't already to pop over to the DSWF website and look at the entries. 


The watercolour winner was 

Vikrant Shitole “The Unleashed”



 I always look out for that award especially as I do hope one day...just one day I might get lucky. Then I see the standard and realise how wonderful it is to be shortlisted.

The overall winner was this done in Biro and oil


Cy Baker “Costa Rican Cloud Forest”


Wow !


To see any more you'll have to visit the website, and you can also vote for the people's choice entry this year was 'On a bare branch' ( crow) in case you'd like to vote for me....nudge nudge 


So now to do something I have never been brave enough to do before and that is show you what I am entering so you can judge for yourself. You will also know that I entered and maybe didn't get in, I don't usually divulge that information. However I wanted to  explain why I enter these competitions in the first place. I am a self taught artist and I guess it gives me some validation when I 'get in' , but that said it can knock you for six when you don't. I think it adds some excitement to the year , and something to aim for , so deep breath and here goes, I am going to talk you through the process of entering the South West Academy of Fine Arts  Open exhibition.

Now I have been fortunate to get in a few times, and I have missed out a few times too. 

So first you have to be ready for rejection ...great !

Now to choose your pieces, I have no idea what they are after, none !

What I do is paint all year and sometimes I feel one is a real gem, and I pop it to one side and think maybe?

 I have chosen 3 pieces ( you can submit 6) 

You need to photograph them as well as you can. You have to measure them, and give them a title. You also have to pay a fee ( usually ) to enter. Now this isn't a wildlife art competition so I thought I would give some different pieces a go.Oh and a bee as they have been lucky for me before....

Here art the exhibition detals

 Read things carefully and get yourself ready, 

This is a local exhibition for me, so that helps if I have to take my paintings to the show. Always an advantage 

Then to start uploading the images and filling in the details...oh and a title , you have to think of a title...yikes!

Finally after a morning of pondering I have finished. I like to make my decision get them uploaded and send them off. 

However I know people who wait till the last minute...


So the deed is done the money is paid and off goes my be judged.

It will be a while until I hear anything, and thankfully my toothache will also be gone.

I thought you might like to take this journey with me, or maybe submit something of your own. I have found in life that it is amazing what can happen if you take that first step 

Back to blog


Just like Karen Dunn, I am so thrilled to have found your blog. I am working my way through page by page, entry by entry and I am in heaven! I have been painting with watercolours for four years, trying everything I can but putting it aside in the summer as our summers here in Canada pass so quickly that there is just too much else to do. I am slowly realizing that my favourite style of watercolour is exactly what you do, Rachel. Detail and realism mixed with the magic that is watercolour! I love your writing….if you ever write a book….I will be the first in line! I have been reading your blog with my morning cup of tea and you inspire me every single morning. Please take good care of yourself and keep writing your soul-satisfying,, inspiring, lovely blog posts.

Lesley Larose

I LOVE all your paintings, your blog, and the wonderful advice and tutorials you share. Very glad I found you in this big watercolor world. Thank you!

Karen Dunn

Your paintings are lovely and you live in such beautiful country! Best of luck with your entries and prayers for a return to full health and sound teeth!


Fabulous submissions Rachel. All the very best.


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