Sunday, October 12, 2014

Not Rejection ... Just Selection!

Dunes Mystery, Pastel 11"x14"

Have you ever entered an art competition? 

If you have, you did receive a notice that your painting (or other type of art) was either accepted, or not accepted into the show. Many artists will tell someone they entered a competition but they were "rejected" or received a "rejection notice."

There have been several conversations on Facebook and blogs, and in newsletters ... where I just read something and posted a comment. Here is a link to the newsletter: Jurors and Rejection by David P. Hettinger on the Fine Art Views Art Marketing Newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter from this site, it is a wonderful group!

My comment: "Love this language difference. I tell all my students in posts about "not being accepted" and the difference I feel by using those words. I have been a juror and judge and also know how difficult the task is. Saying you were "rejected" ... wrong! It is not rejection, just selection"

Do you let it bother you because your were "not selected?"

How do you handle the feeling when you receive that letter or e-mail telling you, "sorry, but your work was not selected for the show?"

Do you feel like you are less proficient than other artists you know? You should never compare your work to that of others, only to your previous work!

Or ...

Do you tell yourself, "okay, just one juror's opinion" and then go on about creating your work?

Be sure to take the time to look at what was accepted if you get the chance. And, have a look at the statistics of that particular show / competition. Remember, there were probably well over ten times as many submissions as there were spaces for accepted pieces in some of our prestigious shows! Just as a for instance... a recently chosen show had in the neighborhood of 2,000 entries submitted and accepted less than 200 paintings (I wish I had the exact numbers, but I am close). Think of how many wonderful artists and pieces of art were "not selected!" Good company, right? But, no reason to feel "rejected."

The painting featured above has been submitted to a couple of shows, and has not been selected. And, guess what? I love this painting, with any inconsistencies it might have, and still think it is a wonderful painting. And it was the best painting I could do at that time, and was submitted to those shows because of that feeling!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Always and Never ... Do you use these words?

"Rocks & Roses" 8x10 Pastel Plein Air


I was reading a post from the Robert Genn newsletters that mentioned these two words. It made me think about if I use them. No, I tell my students to not use them. The minute I say I "never" do something, then that will be the one thing I will do sometime in the next day or two! How does that happen?

When we are painting, the best feeling is when we get lost in what we are doing, right?

When we are "lost" in the minutes of our painting, we are working from a more intuitive state. I have a real problem saying I am an intuitive painter. I don't think I am most of the time. I am a thinker, an analytical painter. I have one or two artist friends that tell me all the time, "Marsha, quit thinking, just paint!"

This can stifle the creative instincts many times... and I mean the analytical thinking, and the voices in my head telling me to stop being that way. Maybe I am going in and out of the analytical state and the intuitive state. I would like to think this is more the way I work.

Does painting plein air help us with painting less analytical and more intuitive?

The painting shown above was done plein air (on location / from life). Because I was under a time crunch with the sun moving and changing the shadows and even the colors, I was working a bit faster than I do in the studio. It helps me stop the brain, but encourages me to look, see the scene or object, and put it down without agonizing over the elements, colors, temperatures, etc. So, I think the brain shifts to the right side easier and allows us to enter that more intuitive state.

I talk about setting a timer when in the studio (and when painting plein air) ... not a race against the clock ... but a time constraint so we can quit being so analytical when standing at the easel. This does not free you from making a plan before you start!

What else might help?

I also have a "mentor" that said to me, "you need to spend more time on your stool and less time with brush or pastel stick at the painting." This stool is several feet away from the easel. It is where the analytical side of the brain can come back into play. Making decisions from this distance with real purpose, not just painting without a purpose with hopes those strokes are the right ones, in the right place, etc.

My work at this time is trying to follow the advice of my friend and mentor... not painting so analytically ... and spending more time planning, and sitting on the stool. I am taking my time, and not painting for shows and competitions, or even for the gallery... but painting for the pure joy of doing it and seeing what happens! 

Always? Never? ... How about you?