Artist Michael Blessing’s painting, Raising The Bar, received the high bid at the C.M. Russell Museum's "Quick-Draw" competition in Great Falls, Montana last weekend.The artist was shocked and honored by the $17,500 bid. In the “Quick-Draw” competition, artists are given just a few hours to complete their work while interacting with the crowd before it is auctioned off. This is the second consecutive year that Blessing has won the competition. In other news from last weekend, Blessing's painting Postcard From Miles City received a bid of $8000, well over the estimated “high” projection, and was third highest in the Russell Museum’s First Strike auction.
Painting is documenting history for Blessing. The colorful graphic nature of neon signs has attracted him since childhood.
The Greenwich Workshop just published Michael Blessing’s Whiskey Before Breakfast, another painting that reveals a great deal about the artist’s concept of the Neon West. It is as much a state of mind as it is a visual record of the West.