I have a lot of talents. I can take beautiful photographs. I can hula hoop for hours. I can make people laugh. What I cannot do is draw. Or paint. Or sketch. However, as an 11-year-old girl, I wasn’t yet aware of my limitations as an artist. Those limitations were recently pointed out to me, however, by my co-workers at NRCM when I brought in my “Two Lobsters on Ice Skates” drawing, created nearly 30 years ago.
When I was younger, my grandfather worked for Bass Shoe. He told my older sister and me of a Christmas card design contest for relatives of Bass Shoe workers. Since my sister was too old to enter, it was left to me to represent the family and draw something spectacular for the contest. Well…to draw something for the contest. I had won a color-the-weather contest at age six and had had my drawing shown on the Channel 6 news (I believe I also won a free meal from McDonald’s, which was like winning the lottery to a six-year-old). Thirty-plus years later, I still have my congratulatory letter from Paul Cousins. I remember racing in from outside (it was years before VCRs were invented) to watch them show my drawing on the six o’clock news. I was so proud. I wanted that feeling again. So, I asked my sister to show me how to draw a lobster. I promised if she would help me, I would pay her $10 of my winnings.
Back to the lobsters. I thought I had a great idea – Maine’s iconic lobsters drawn into a winter holiday scene…and I knew how to draw trees and water, so clearly, two lobsters on ice skates was THE winning-est idea of them all! I worked hard, and when I finished creating my masterpiece, we lightly sprayed it with hairspray so the Cray-pas wouldn’t smudge, and then sent it off.
Here is my creation:
You can imagine my surprise (especially now that you have seen the drawing) when weeks later I was notified that I had WON! I remember posing for pictures in front of my grandparents’ Christmas tree, shaking the hand of the woman who came to present me with my $150 savings bonds. I was so excited. I was now a two-time award-winning artist.
So, when NRCM announced that this year’s Art of Local Food event was adding an art sale, I was sure my co-workers in charge of the art sale would come racing down to my office to ask me to create a masterpiece to donate to the sale. I kept working away each day, paying close attention to my work, but also feeling my heart race every time I heard someone’s footsteps nearing my office. THIS is the time that they are going to come ask me to participate. THIS is the moment when I get to share my art with the world!
When no one came, I assumed, of course, that they were too intimidated by my art to approach me. I took matters into my own hands. I walked down the hall and very modestly mentioned that I “am an artist” who “might” be interested in participating in the art sale. When my co-worker’s eyes widened, I was sure it was because she was so stunned that such an acclaimed artist would want to donate her masterpiece to the sale. Apparently, that wasn’t it.
She said the artwork had to be 10×10 in size. Mine didn’t fit those guidelines. When I offered to recreate the drawing in a 10×10 size…the next excuse came. And then the next. And then it became clear that she didn’t “appreciate” my art like my family did. Oh well…I guess she is just lucky that more than 50 other artists have donated their beautiful artwork to this year’s art sale. You can see a slideshow (that doesn’t include my lobsters) on NRCM’s website.
The bad news: you won’t have an opportunity to purchase my drawing (though please feel free to contact me directly if you are). The good news: the other artwork that was donated will be available for purchase next Sunday, October 30th at our Art of Local Foodtasting party and art sale. It’s not too late to get your tickets and invite your friends. I will be there (without my lobster drawing) at the registration table, so be sure to say hello before you head in to the art sale and tasting party. This is the second year I will attend this event—and I absolutely loved it last year! The food is amazing, the view is spectacular, and the cause is worthwhile. Come feast your eyes on some incredible artwork by Maine artists while you feast on some delicious food from local restaurants, farms, and vendors—all while supporting NRCM’s work to protect Maine’s air, land, water, and wildlife.
Hope to see you at the Natural Resources Council of Maine’s Art of Local Food event next Sunday in Northport.