It's official: I'm going to Florida!

The painting is framed and the trip is booked. Florida, here we come!

In case you have not checked my Facebook page lately (or if you are not a fan), my Matilija Poppy painting was accepted into the Blossom II: Art of Flowers Competition. I will be traveling to Naples, Fl. for the opening event and the painting will be featured on a countrywide tour that will last around two years.

After browsing their final selection, I've got to say that I am impressed at the quality of the work that made it to the show. There were at least a couple thousand entries and only around a hundred made it through. So, I am definitely proud of being a part of this show, for sure.

Since they have not posted any information other than the names of the artists and photographs of the paintings, I cannot precisely assess how many of the final works are made with acrylics (not by looking at those low res little pictures, anyway). I am very curious to find out though, since this contest is focused mostly on realistic work and I have blogged before on how difficult acrylics can be when painting realistically. Once I looked at the final selection, a part of me wondered if I should have "followed the trend" and paint with oils. But, like I said before, I have made up my mind and I paint with acrylics most of the time now. I guess I can only hope the judges will appreciate my entry and what I was trying to achieve with it.

Why the Matilija Poppy, anyway?

I have been trying to buy local products whenever is possible. So, when it was time to choose a subject for the painting, picking native Californian flowers seemed to be the obvious choice. When I came across this flower, I seriously did not think too much of it. I mean, I have seen many different white flowers with yellow stems before. Yes, it was very pretty and big and its petals were very delicate and looked like wrinkled paper. But at the same time, its size made it look kind of heavy and somewhat sad.

And then, it happened. A subtle breeze came out of nowhere and I witnessed how these wonderful flowers turned into floating clouds. They were dancing around, suspended in a timeless state of grace and beauty. I must have stared at them for a solid minute before it occurred to me to start shooting pictures!

After getting home and looking at hundreds and hundreds of pictures from the trip, I finally chose the poppies. I wanted people to have the same experience I did and almost feel the wind in their faces. I hope I achieved the goal.

As for the actual trip, I cannot wait to get there and see all the beautiful paintings!

P.D.: And now I feel like painting something with oils. Stay tuned and Happy New Year!