Thursday, September 19, 2019

The TJS Amateur Artist division

This is the first in a whole series of guest posts from my friend, fellow tack maker and amateur artist, Darleen Stoddard. Thank you so much, Darleen, for sharing your Jennifer Show experience with all of us!

P.S. I love Jon Bon Poni.

The TJS Amateur Artist Division 

by Darleen Stoddard

There have been a few destination shows that I have wanted to get to over the years, but none more than The Jennifer Show. When it was held the first time, I had serious FOMO, and vowed to get to it if it happened again. Then when I saw the lineup of judges, I knew it just had to happen. When artists you've long admired are going to be there (some since entering the hobby 20+ years ago), you find a way. Fortunately all the stars aligned, my husband agreed to pick up the usual Mom duties on the home front, and I was able to make it! 
But one does not just fly across country for a show without a plan. As with any big show with tons of competition, you have to start planning months in advance to stand a chance. Though I used to be heavily into performance, NaMoPaiMo has really gotten my creative juices flowing on the finishwork side of things. And well, the lineup of performance showers proved too daunting for my old self. I did not envy Liesl's job. 
So I decided for this show I would take Melanie Miller's awesome advice on how to become a good painter... paint every day!  And well, she was judging the Amateur division... how perfect was that?
I bit the bullet and bought my plane ticket in June, then followed through on that advice. In the end I was able to finish seventeen new models, more than doubling what I had previously painted, and I only missed one day of painting due to illness. I felt my horses had improved by leaps and bounds, and perhaps I stood a chance in the Amateur division. But I had to put my ponies in front of Mel. I mean come on, y'all. This is super intimidating! Not gonna lie, Mel is one of my favorite finishwork artists in the hobby. Just look at some of this amazingness.
I wish I'd been brave enough to take advantage of asking how I could improve, but I chickened out. However, I did do rather decently with some of my ponies.
The amateur bay/brown class had forty five entries!! And this is a good example showing how it was really about the workmanship, not the model. My little guy on the left usually gets overlooked.
Micros also held their own. I was talked into purchasing this little guy, only my second micro. I had no idea what color to paint him, and the friend who talked me into buying him said dapple grey. I laughed. I'm not laughing anymore. I now own way too many micros!  
And a proud moment for my Tadpoles, one of which was my NaMoPaiMo 2018 pony, Jon Bon Poni.
If not for NaMoPaiMo, I would not be painting now, and most certainly not at the level I am at. Thank you Jennifer, and all of the awesome artists that have written tutorials or given creative advice/tips/tricks!
In the end, the elusive mini Anise was not to be had, but I am still thrilled with all that I've accomplished thanks to the creative push of this show and NaMoPaiMo!


  1. Thanks Darleen! NMPM pushed me too, and it's fascinating to see TJS from your point of view. Good writing!