Miles Show Art Competition 2023

To Enter a Competition or Not.

I have always wanted to enter an art competition but a little worried about rejection as I’ve heard of people not even getting passed the entry stage. This can cripple people and kill their confidence in something that they are passionate about and have put many hours of love and effort into.

With only a few hours before the competition closed I decided to enter and let my artistic talents and confidence all be up for judging.

A Small Hurdle

In February we had a bushfire that came within 4km of Possum Park and left a path of destruction in the local forest. Three months on I decided to take some photos of the burnt tree stumps and regeneration that I would later use for paintings.

I had spent a week drawing a bush regeneration scene in pen and ink that I was going to use for a future exhibition along with my lizard painting. Once I read the fine print for the essence exhibition I realised that I could not enter my black and white ink drawing if it had been in a previous show, exhibition or competition.

This left me with a few options.

  • I don’t enter a Black & White Painting in the Miles Show.
  • I enter my artwork and re draw something else for the future exhibition.
  • I draw another similar artwork that has taken me a week to draw in 24 hours for the Miles show.

Nothing like a bit of pressure, so I opted for option 3. I sat down from 7am and worked till 9pm that night and a few hours the next day to finish things off and frame my artwork.

My lizard was ok to enter into the show because it wasn’t going into a future competition only a new exhibition.

The Day My Art Was Recognised

I arrived at the show after working on cutting new fire trails at Possum Park in the morning and was ready for something to eat as I’d worked up a good appetite. I was a little apprehensive, was my confidence going to be killed in a few more minutes.

I entered the Miles show and the first person I met was a friend from the Miles art group. The first thing she said “have you seen the results” my response “No I haven’t been in yet, did I do ok” Shirley said “Go in have a look, congratulations we will talk later”

My first thought was, oh no I’ve won something she entered and now I’ve made an enemy.

So I entered five artworks, three in the novice section because id never entered or won a first prize at the Miles show before and two artworks in the open section.

My first painting in the landscape or Seascape section won first prize with a blue ribbon. I was over the moon as I said I haven’t entered any competitions before and I wasn’t a high achiever at school and only got second place in the three legged and wheelbarrow race when I was about seven. The rest of School I think I scraped through with pity and A for effort.

Anyway, I was over the moon with winning first place and a smile spread across my face. I just looked at that painting as though I had won the Archibald prize and was supper excited. I may have let out a little squeal of excitement that was not very manly at all.

I took a deep breath and looked at my next artwork that was at eye level. Loan behold I got another first place and blue ribbon for my Watercolour painting of a tractor.

This was a medium that I had only just started painting with about 8 months ago. I have done some online tutorials with Ian Fennelly and this has helped me with a new style and this is much quicker, brighter and looser than my normal gouache work.

Most of the artworks at the show were paintings on canvas so my framed works were a little easier to spot and I saw this one been hung so I knew where it was hung.

I can’t believe that I almost didn’t enter this category because I didn’t think it was possible to reproduce something similar in less that 24hrs to the same standard as my original artwork that took a week.

Another first prize and I’m not sure my grin can get any larger.

I have only recently started drawing in ink and this is much harder in some ways because you just start drawing on the paper with the ink. No pencil first, so you can’t make mistakes so your confidence level has to be much higher. I should say you can make mistakes but they become visible or you have to take your drawing into a different direction.

I first started sketching tree stumps a few months ago in February 2023 in a small A6 sketch book. So even though this drawing was completed quickly I had previously just completed 50 small tree stumps leading unto this drawing. I will add another link of these in a few days.

My entry into the Flower section had more than a blue ribbon, there was an extra bit of paper stuck to it. Flowers are beautiful Noell Karez Memorial Trophy. Oh wow I thought first place was enough this is getting too much. Shirley was right I had done extremely well.

My face was going red as I could feel the excitement and giddiness taking over me.

Next I was hoping that my last painting of the lizard an eastern water dragon would at least win something as I thought it was my greatest creation to date.

Your favourites always changes because you are always creating new artworks and wanting to do better each time and this was now my favourite.

I was already so excited I was like a kid on red cordial and too much sugar I was almost shaking.

Oh bugger my heart sank my lizard didn’t win anything I couldn’t see a ribbon of any colour first, second or third. I felt disappointed after all my hard work not to even get a place.

Then I noticed all the other bits of paper covering the ribbon.

  • Best Exhibit Pavilion
  • Grand Champion Art Marie Makin Memorial Trophy
  • Grand Champion Mile Show
  • First Place (Almost Hidden)

I was so excited I was telling people that’s my lizard I’m a grand champion. Oh what joy, where is the paparazzi when you need them. Luckily I had Sarah from the Miles Art Group to help out.

I received 5 first places for all of my entries and taken out every single award for the Miles show. I can’t believe all my hard work as an artist has been recognised. I was happy that my lizard and flower won in the open section so they were up against other people that had previously won at the Miles Show.

So that’s what can happen when you follow your dreams and change your lifestyle, career and location. Talk about winning gold on your first try this will have me buzzing for weeks to come.

Photo By Sarah

Thank you to the following

I would like to thank the staff, judges, stewards and anyone else involved at the Miles & District Show Society. Also for the prizes I won from IGA, Foodworks, Miles Tyre and Battery, Mary Howard and Shirley Makin, Miles and District Art Group.

I’m grateful for winning the Noell Karez and Marie Makin Memorial Trophy, Best Exhibit, Grand Champion, Art and Miles Show Grand Champion.

Also my friends at the Miles Art Group, hopefully I didn’t create any enemy’s by winning all the awards and trophies.

Watercolour Paint, Ink & Paper

I use Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolour also Gouache on Arches France Watercolour Paper, 300g Hot Pressed or Fabriano Artistico Watercolour Paper 300g Hot Pressed. Canson Paper.

Tombo Brush Pens N15, N45, N55, N60, N65, N95 and Faber Castell Fine-liners 0.05, 0.1, 0.3, 0.5, 0.7

My painting come from my own experiences that I have photographed while traveling. By reading this blog, you as a viewer can now hear The Story Behind the Painting. Where, when, what was happening while I was photographing the wildlife.
If you want more details about my adventures checkout my travel blog website 

Enjoy, Chris Osborne

6 Comments on “Miles Show Art Competition 2023

  1. You deserve every win Chris, you have worked so hard
    Congratulations again


  2. Nothing like a win in an exhibition to inspire you to keep going. The lizard painting is brilliant! Hope you have many more successes.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: