I was upstairs on the loo when this screaming erupted from downstairs...
Concerned that something awful had happened I struggled down stairs half in my leggings and was faced with my mother, completely speechless and unable to control the muscles in her face.
"Art....your Art....The News!"
Unable to make sense of the string of words she had put together I looked at the television screen where she was pointing. And there it was...The BBC North West news report on The BBC'S little painting challenge, a postcard painting competition that I had entered in April.
And there my postcard was on the telly.
I was overwhelmed with happiness and pride... out of 29000 entries, 1000 had been shortlisted to be part of an exhibition in Manchester's Whitworth Art Gallery... and 3 were shown behind the newsreaders on the BBC, and mine was one of them!
I was struggling to fit my oversized head through any doors let alone on a train to go and see it. I arrived with my friend in tow, who honestly believed she was in the presence of a celebrity. We reached the front desk only to be told about the very wonderful exhibition that we had gone to see. My friend blurted "yes, she has two entries in it!" Pointing to me, grinning. I was congratulated by the guide who showed us to the doors of the grand hall saying well done repeatedly to me. The exhibition was glorious...There were so many beautiful entries and I was astounded that mine had made it here at all. The different interpretations of the design brief, "design a postcard," where numerous and the high level of artistry and illustrative skill present were enough to feed an artists inspiration and mood board for years. Looking at each design and discussing it's merits with my friend was a joy but not as great as the happiness that imploded inside me when I saw my entry, mounted on clean white card and hung with the others on the wire washing line. We talked to others who had also entered, one of which had travelled all the way from London to see his piece. We got back ache from poising ourselves in front of the huge screen which was showing each postcard, ready to snap a picture of it and another of me in front of it.
To have had 2 pieces in an exhibition was a wonderful moment for me as a artist and a real boost to my love of the subject. I am now finding paintings and ideas pouring out of me and I am unable to stop painting. It will not stop here though, I am already on the hunt for the next competition I can enter and I assure you it will not be long before Rachel Oliver's work explodes across the media.
Grab life by the paint brush and interpret it your way!