I won something… and it wasn’t a raffle

Yesterday was an annual event in Elkhart, Indiana called the Taste of the Gardens. The gardens in question are the Wellfield Botanic Gardens. Lots of good food, lots of live music, and 60 artist/craft vendors including yours truly. I signed up for this event in order to have the most appropriate venue to promote the Sky Pads paintings. Every decent botanic garden has to feature at least a few water lilies.

It started out as a very foggy gray morning, and by 11AM it was still behind schedule for becoming “partly sunny”. This is one of the reasons I really appreciate the skylight feature of my wonderful Trimline booth. Even with a gray day there’s enough light inside to do justice to artwork.

All set up. All by myself. And it only took 3 hours LOL!!!

Now about the “partly sunny” situation. I was thankful later on for a generous supply of large trees as the clouds and fog dispersed and we experienced probably one of the hottest and muggiest days of this summer.

One of the four vendor lanes at Taste of the Gardens. With a lot of trees. This photo was before the event opened. It got quite crowded when the gates opened at 11. Which was great!

I had decided ahead of time to take advantage of all I learned a few months ago at the “how to increase your traffic/sales at an art fair” seminar . One of the strategies was to attract attention by putting one of your best, flashiest, most interesting paintings at the top of the left side of your left tent wall, and the right side of your right wall. For the left side I chose the recent “butterfly/bird” illusion which also featured the poured paint striated texture underneath.

The top left image is important!

The tactic worked perfectly. I had people coming into my booth who said they saw that painting from way down the row! The secondary advantage was that almost everyone tried to figure out how I got the background paint to do what it did, and so I got a great opportunity to discuss that and other aspects of my painting too.

Oh…I remember now. This post is supposed to be about something I won. It was the “Best Overall” award. And best of all, it came with $$$! There were two other awards, one for best booth display, and one for best expression of the gardens. I’ve never been a “best” anything, let alone a “best overall” something. This is pretty incredible. So many thanks to the wonderful folks at Wellfield!

Oh…and I now remember something else. My last dressage show on July 29. I got my first ever Grand Champion ribbon at any dressage show, any level. This one was for first level, and it was a long time coming. Charm and I have been chipping away at first level for four years, mainly because we’re both old and stiff. But one of us seems to be suppling up a bit (the four-legged one). We may start making a tentative stab at second level next year. If Ms. Sassypants continues to think it might be a nice idea.

About Alli Farkas

Equine and landscape artist specializing in rural Americana
This entry was posted in art, awards, exhibit booth, exhibit opportunity, landscape, oil paintings, painting techniques, Sky Pads and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to I won something… and it wasn’t a raffle

  1. anne leueen says:

    Congratulations Alli! That is a real accomplishment a) for the best overall award and b) for your 1st Level Champions award. Wooo Whooo!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jean Fargo says:


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Clover says:

    Yay!!! Congrats on both well-deserved awards! 🏆🥇🏆

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Emma Cownie says:

    Wow – I had no idea that your paintings were so large. They look absolutely stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alli Farkas says:

      Yes, they are large! Entering juried shows can be tricky if they aren’t judged by the physical work. Photo entries don’t capture either the power or the subtlety of these paintings, so when I have to submit photos for judging instead of by the actual work I’m always relieved when I have one accepted into a show. After Wellfield all of them except one went on to the Niles District Library in Niles, Michigan, which has a large gallery space. They’ll be there for a month, then we’ll see what happens with a museum show I’m planning to enter. That one will be judged by the actual work. Thankfully!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Emma Cownie says:

        You know, I think all paintings look better in the flesh. Juried shows/competitions that have a photographic first round are always a bit dodgy for that reason. They should insist that there’s a photo of the painting with the artist to get an idea of scale. Good luck with the show. I am sure you will do really well.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Judy Johnson says:

    Well done on all venues!!! The art one is probably the harder to gain, maybe. A lot of work goes into the horse one, too. Your booth looked fantastic and I am glad your implementations worked. Yay!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yay-yay-yay-yay-yay! Congratulations on many levels! I’m smiling, but your smile was surely enough to rival the full moon!

    I laughed about getting ‘old and stiff’- but that final image shows that sassypants is not old in spirit!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alli Farkas says:

      Actually I think Ms Sassypants was born stiff. She’s never been really graceful (my trainer has known her all her life) but the one thing she is, is super strong. So while she doesn’t have great trot or canter extensions she does have a lot of potential for the movements which take a lot of strength, like canter pirouettes, piaffe, and passage. Now I just need to convince her that those things are worth doing…HAH!!!


  7. Sounds like you had a great experience at the Taste of the Gardens in Elkhart. Selling and getting attention is almost an art in itself, isn’t it. And, yes, congratulations with winning “Best Overall” award, that’s quite fantastic. And of course also the Grand Champion ribbon.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. jofox2108 says:

    Congratulations!!!!! Very well done! I’m really happy for you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Only kabir says:


    Liked by 1 person

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