Local artist’s watercolor wins contest
Linda Everett has only been painting watercolors for about four years and had never entered an art contest until just a few weeks ago.
She had a pretty good feeling that she wasn't going to win the Association of Community Arts Agencies of Kansas postcard contest, but she wanted to enter anyway.
"I wasn't planning on winning, it was just a great experience," Everett said. "I thought I have nothing to lose, so I'm just going to go for it."
She didn't lose. In fact, Everett's watercolor, a still life titled "Yesteryear," was selected as one of 16 winners in the final year for the 25-year-long ACAAK postcard contest. Local artist Rosemary Murphy won the same contest three years ago.
Everett said she was notified of her honor in a letter.
"The first word was congratulations. I read it over and over again because I kept thinking I was missing something," she said. "I was surprised, but excited."
She said she had heard about the Kansas art contest a couple of years ago, but had put off entering it until this year.
"I had kept it in the back of my mind," she said.
There were few regulations for the contest, she said, but the two-dimensional medium entry had to be kept to postcard size, 6 inches by 4-1/2 inches.
"I hadn't painted anything that small before," she said. "It was a bit of a challenge."
But she found out the size wasn't that bad.
"The size was actually kind of fun to do," she said. "I'm very detail-oriented so I kind of enjoyed it."
Everett said her painting is a change from her more familiar landscapes.
"I've always enjoyed painting landscapes and I'm drawn to the Kansas prairies," she said. "But a friend encouraged me to do still life."
The watercolor still life contains a number of items including a stoneware pitcher, an apple and apple slices, a wooden butter press and an open book.
"I enjoy collecting old items that have to do with family or are meaningful to me," she said. "I guess I put things together that were meaningful to me or things that are displayed in my home."
Everett was honored at a reception Friday and received a monetary award and 250 reproduction postcards of her painting. Some of her work is also on display at the Signal in conjunction with Friday's Art Walk.
She said she was pleased with the honor of being selected as a winner.
"It was very encouraging," she said. "It was a real boost to me knowing that I am progressing with this, with this watercolor painting. It's very motivating."
Everett's painting, along with all of the other contest winners for the past 25 years, is on display at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire, through Aug. 15.