Thursday, June 21, 2012

back to the drawing board...

If you've been following my story, I created 4 paintings to gain entry into an art exhibit in my area. The series of 4 paintings is HERE.

Well, I didn't get in. There are a couple of things that I think definitely worked against me: 

1. My work wasn't consistent enough. I had 3 watercolor paintings and 1 acrylic painting. All of them, except for the two chicken paintings, look like they could have been created by different artists. This is definitely a no-no when trying to get into contemporary art exhibits. The body of work should look like it all goes together with a similar style and treatment. The artist's personality and originality should shine through each work and look like it all belongs together. I knew this, of course (having been an art teacher).

2. The theme wasn't developed enough, creating even more inconsistency. One of them is in the realm of fantasy (the one with the big flowers), one is more in the realm of realism and the others emphasize borders. I was just too all over the place. I believe I would have had a better chance if I had stuck to one particular way of working within the theme.   

3. I didn't give myself enough time to create a body of work. I was rushed. This year has been marred by medical crises and illnesses, whether mine or someone else's. Being distracted does not bode well for making a consistent body of work where some leisure can bring thoughtfulness and reflection. Instead I was overwhelmed with too many things on my plate to think clearly about what I was creating. I thought I had enough time to paint 4 acrylic paintings and 4 watercolor paintings (for instance) and choose between the two mediums. 

4. Not enough pieces:  the prospectus called for 4 - 10 pieces. I'm sure most artists went more for 10 which put me at a disadvantage too.   

5. politics: I think there is always a little of that in the jurying of every exhibit (especially in an area like this where most artists know each other, or at least each other's work). Some artists specialize in farm scenery and it is all they do -- full time. This is not my main focus even if it is becoming part of my palette.

In a way, I am glad I didn't get in especially as I am still dealing with #3 and still greatly overwhelmed to the point where I'm even shutting down my Etsy on-line store for awhile to get back on my feet. Assuming that brighter days are ahead, I will reapply next year. This gives me an entire year to paint and to explore what direction I want to take this work. Working in watercolors and acrylics should be possible too with so much time ahead of me assuming I can get most of my graphic work, greeting cards and music done during the day time. 

Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed reading about my journey so far...



  1. You have analyzed what happened (which is good), you are taking steps to recognize where your short comings were (which is good), and you have established a plan to rectify what you discerned was wrong (which is good), and you are taking what you learned into consideration to become even better (VERY good) .... I think next year, we will have a winner on our hands!

    I applaud your self analysis, your goals to achieve what you want, and your determine to better yourself and your work.

    You are an extremely talented artist and I know you will do well the next time around!

    Bravo Lise!

  2. Thank you! That is one of the nicest comments I have received on this blog!

    Rejection can be a motivator. And it certainly did that for me.