Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Adepticon Diary - Entry #1 - Crystal Brush winners

My emotional high is waning back towards normalcy, having returned from my first Adepticon and my first Crystal Brush.  Over the next several days, I plan to write a visual diary and share my adventure -- with all 6 of my reading audience!

To answer the immediate question, I finished 5th place in the 'Diorama' category.  As I mentioned on the second day of the show, the Diorama category was probably the most competitive among the different categories.  It so happened that the first two spots in Diorama also won 2nd and 3rd overall for the entire show!  
by Enrique Sanchez.  #1 in Diorama and #2 Overall

by Raffaele Picca.  #2 in Diorama and #3 Overall

by Marc Masclans.  #3 in Diorama
by Matt Cexwish.  #4 in Diorama
A couple of the CMON staffers informed me, however, that I wasn't too far behind, points-wise.  So I'm quite proud that I could even compete at an international level, among actual professional artists, such as Raffaele Picca, Enrique Sanchez, and Jeremie Bonamant Teboul.  Those guys are in a whole other league than I am, of course, but I met my goal to show a respectable piece, and not be embarrassed to show it in the presence of world masters.

In short, I took the place that I deserved, and I feel no disappointment whatsoever.  I am happy to bow to the entries that beat me.  They are definitely much tighter in execution, and I now understand what is required to compete at that level.  It's been a great experience, and I like my creation.  I enjoyed painting those models, and I learned a lot by painting continuously for 3 weeks straight.  And since the models are too fragile to use in games, they serve a better purpose permanently affixed to a display piece, which can now tell two stories, the tale of the "Border Dispute", as well as my tale of Adepticon!

Outside of probably about 16 pieces among about a dozen artists, I learned that I can probably hold my own.  I think I can paint at a high enough standard to earn a bronze or maybe a silver in one of the other categories.  Maybe a gold, if I really wanted to commit enough time to it.  I am now remotivated, not only by meeting world-class artists and their Crystal Brush entries, but also by seeing the variety of painting styles in both the Crystal Brush as well as in the display cabinets of many of the vendors.  So earning a medal in a different category will be my goal for next year.  In the meantime, I hope 'Border Dispute' might earn me some metal at the regional NCMSS show.

I think the Europeans have a lock on the Crystal Brush for the next few years.  As a matter of fact, I wonder why we didn't see some of our stronger American artists, such as Jen Haley, Marike Reimer, etc.  But I think the American artists need to step up a level to take top honors again.  So that will be my longer-term goal -- to reclaim a Top 3 position from the Europeans!  In a friendly, rival sort-of-way, of course.  After all, I admire the hell out of all of those guys, especially after meeting most them in person. 

Shaking hands with Jeremie Bonamant Teboul, Crystal Brush champion, during his seminar.

Me and Massive Voodoo.  left to right:  Raffaele Picca (#3 Crystal Brush winner), me, Roman Lappat (head judge)

I also had the pleasure to meet Victoria Lamb and Conrad Maynett.  I chatted with Conrad on several occasions, and I had the very good fortune to sit with him after the show and examine all of his entries up close.  It gave me the opportunity to ask him very specific questions about not only painting and sculpting, but about practical matters, too, like how to transport models to the shows!  If you ever have a chance to meet him at a show, be sure to introduce yourself -- he's a super-congenial guy.

Some of my thoughts on other entries:

"Pied Piper" is a wonderful piece, one of my favorites.  I love the whimsy, and I give it extra high marks for originality and creativity.  The little rats are scratchbuilt tiny robots!  The composition and movement have fantastic balance. 

"So High" has excellent execution.  It delivers mood and theme through its very effective composition.

"Touch of Death" is Raffa Picca's work.  It's stunning.  While the zombie hunter piece offers more depth, I prefer "Touch of Death", because it carries so much emotion, dynamism, and tension.  
All of these pieces are true works of fine art.

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