When second place is a good thing ...

I got notecards from Inara Pey yesterday and today. They had announced the winners for the "Filling the Cauldron" contests!

Long story short:

  • In the garden contest, I am "joint runner-up" with Oscelot Haalan.
  • In the photography contest, I am in second place.
From the blog, a quote from Elicio said, "... And the Dragon Skull one has a very neat and orderly layout. It’s beautiful.”  :D

An artist complimenting your artwork carries greater weight because they know what they're talking about. The same goes with any other type of work, like musicians complimenting music, programmers complimenting code, writers complimenting an essay. So, Elicio's compliment is a really big deal. :D Well, to me at least.

I talked about my garden contest entry here, but I didn't really mention my photography entry because I just randomly took it after I finished my shopping spree at Elicio's store to use in my blog post. I didn't even decide to enter it into the photography contest until much later.

I also wanted to bid on Elicio's RL paintings. From the website, I noticed one that was extremely well-done, where his technical skill was very apparent. It was a painting of a structure with mountains in the back. The title on the website said "Lugares Sagradas" ("Sacred Places"). It pulled me in the same way that Elicio's inworld work pulled me.

This one was done in acrylic on canvas. The rest of the artwork in the auction were watercolors on paper. I love love love watercolors. But next to the "Lugares Sagradas", they felt too whimsical, too light, too superficial. I still picked my favorite out of the watercolors anyway — the blue forest scene. On auction day (Sunday), I decided that maybe I should go for the blue forest watercolor because it seemed more appropriate as a memento or representative of Second Life. The "Lugares Sagradas" felt too "heavy".

I had set my limit to $100 before the auction started. When the auction started, I realized that my limit was too small to be competitive, so I doubled it to $200.

The blue forest watercolor was the second painting on the block (Saffia, who served as the auctioneer, interspersed other non-painting items in between the paintings). The bidding started at 15kL. Wolfgang advised me to wait until the end before I bid. So I joined when it became quiet and Terra Volitant had bid 22k. I started at 23k. Then the bidding bounced quickly between Terra and me. For five minutes.

I had already reached my limit at 50kL. But I kept going... with longer pauses. I decided that 60kL would be my last bid and I'd leave it up to fate after that. Terra called out 65kL. Saffia was repeatedly calling me by name on public voice asking if I would go higher. Then, as I emoted bowing out, Terra sent me an IM that he would not go over 65kL and he would not compete if I outbid him after that. But I already bowed out and, as I told him, 60kL was already past my limit. I felt that the painting wasn't meant to be mine.

The "Lugares Sagradas" was the fourth painting on the block. Its name is actually "Stupa" and it is from a series called "Lugares Sagradas"/"Sacred Places". From Elicio's description, 'Stupa is the last remianing original painting of my "Pre Second Life" period that is not already in a private collection.'

Up to the last minute, I had doubts about bidding on it for an inner nervousness that I couldn't explain. It felt as though owning it would be a very serious responsibility. I felt its weight on my soul. At the same time, it pulled me.

If the blue forest went as high as 65kL, I was sure the "Stupa" would go even higher because it's on canvas, but I decided to bid anyway. The bidding started at 20kL; I immediately started at 21kL. Soon, it was between Terra and me again. I think he felt sorry for me for losing out on the previous painting, because he stopped at 46kL so I won it for 50kL. My limit. The universe was confirming it was meant to be mine. Somehow. :)

I stayed for the remainder of the auction, even though I wasn't planning to bid anymore. Afterwards, I chatted a little with Elicio and he told me some facts about that painting. It's one of his favorite paintings, he said. The background is actually "one of the sacred mountains where the Ganghes is born". Then he told me about the four elements that a stupa's parts represented.
Then, he said, "This painting I had hanging on my wall for many years...and was always a source of solace and peace for me. I hope it does the same for you =)"

Uhhhmmmmm, I was feeling more nervous at that point. The weight of the responsibility felt a little heavier.

I asked him if he was sure he wanted to part with it, and I said he could send me another painting instead. He replied, "Letting go is important, specially as an artist. And specially when the piece is appreciated by who is getting it."

After he explained that it was a composite image (there are stupas in that spot on the Himalayas, but they had more prayer banners). Then he sent me a link to a photo of a real stupa with prayer banners.

I don't think this painting will give me peace. It has a certain mystical energy to it that reminds me of the mysteries around my maternal great-grandfather.

Anyway, I sent him my shipping information. And we'll see.