Print Competition Wins and Lessons in 2015…

2015 was a great year for me in the world of print competition. I grew more this year than ever and I’m grateful for the experiences that have helped me to gain both a better eye and skills with my finishing techniques.

I really believe putting yourself out there helps you grow as an artist in more ways than taking workshops can ever provide. I am a HUGE advocate of print competition. I absolutely love receiving critiques of my work and the opportunity to improve or learn different approaches. Each time pushes me to new growth and getting better. I am extremely lucky to be part of the Dallas PPA which has some of the most exceptional talent in the country. Learning from everyone, seeing their art, and watching their journeys is great.

This year, I had a personal best with a simple portrait of my daughter. I spent so much time thinking about her heritage and how I wanted to capture it. After I took her portrait, it took me another 3 months to even begin working on her image. I needed time to meditate on the feeling and vision I had in mind. One of those months was spent taking pictures of all of the other elements incorporated into the piece. They Call Me Little Feather is an homage to her Native American roots (Lakota Sioux) on her paternal side (Hi Grandma and Grandpa), while honoring her maternal side as she wears jewelry handcrafted by my own father (Hi Papa and Granny).

Upon completing They Call Me Little Feather I was shaking. It was definitely a spiritual moment for me. Her portrait did so well at IPC this year that she will be in the 2015 esteemed Loan Collection. Balancing Act, an art piece of a monarch butterfly, also went Loan, while Emerging Beauty was accepted into the General Collection. On the Fence did not merit at IPC, however it won awards at state competition (Best Illustrative General Exhibit and Best illustrative Wildlife) and was another learning experience for me. Inspired by one of my amazing mentors, I took a risk. It’s fun to push myself in new directions realizing that even if you don’t do as well as you’d hoped you still win for trying.

My time has been spent learning and growing through nature and landscapes because that is where I began my photographic journey. 2016’s hope is in earning my Master’s of Photography with portraits. So I’m very excited to show you what we can do, what is possible, and that no matter what age or where you are in life to always reach for your dreams! OK, enough reminiscing, it’s time to get to work! 🙂


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