19
Jan
12

North Bennington Plein Air Competition, 6-11, September, 2011

I was honored in September to recieve the People’s Choice Award at the North Bennington Plein Air Competition for this oil painting of King’s Pines, done in my favorite place here in Benningtion– Hadwen Woods.   I was additionally  deeply touched that it sold to our dearest friend, who has always supported me and my work as an artist.

I’m also proud of the two other of the paintings in the final show:  Hadwen Woods (I forgot to photo it and it’s on display right now), and the above Woman in Hadwen Woods,  which is my mother sitting on a bench looking out into a play of light on the hillside above the river—She now has that painting on her wall.   It’s one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever done, as is King’s Pines.  

The fourth painting, which I didn’t end up showing, was of my daughter under the canopy at the entrance to the woods, during a drizzly gray day.

 

But the back story of the four paintings done that week round out what is really an award week of love and support to me, not only as artist but as daughter, mother and friend:  In August I’d been diagnosed with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer with Metastises to the Brain (multiple lesions, larger and smaller), CNS, Lymphatic system, and around several organs. SUddenly we were back to scans and tests and biopsies and ooooh so many appointments and adjustments.

So just before, during and after the plein air competition, I was taking steroids, support drugs, and walking to a three week course of  full-brain radiation every day.  I did NOT want to give up doing the Plein Air Event. It makes me feel proud to have these accomplished and varied artists come here and paint our beautiful place.  So my daughter Anna sat in the rain for me while I struggled with my brain and my “wobblieness”, and by the time Mom arrived to support me through the second half of both the radiation and the Plein Air Event, there was also fatigue, confusion, and I was blown-up from the steroids.  This does not begin to take into account what the entire family was responding to emotionally.

So, the recognition of my painting by the people in my community, and the honorable mention of my quick draw painting by a local artist judge, were especially appreciated at such a crazy time.  But it was my family and  friends (especially mom and Anna and John H) that were responsible for my making it through the week–it was because of them I could participate. My bff and framer, Joyce Kennedy, picked up my pieces…I never had to leave the safety of my woods, which are just across from my  house, while painting and I was able to make radiation every day.   I will never forget all the kindnesses shown me during that time so that I could continue to paint, even though it felt like I couldn’t paint, like I wasn’t myself.  People tell me I’m creative and talented.  Sometimes they tell me I’m funny or fun.  But what I am is this:  I am rich in LOVE.  That’s where everything comes from.


1 Response to “North Bennington Plein Air Competition, 6-11, September, 2011”


  1. January 19, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I love plein air paintings. There is something ethereal about them, along with the brush strokes, that always attract my eye. Congratulations.


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viola moriarty

(American, b. 1958)
Modern Expressionist Painter
2012-13 Recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant

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Current and ongoing: New Works, Allegro Ristorante in Bennington on Main Street.

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