Oil on black canvas, 36x48
In just about two weeks, weather permitting, I'm going to head west!
First stop (and here's where the weather comes into play) is St. Louis, MO. In my ongoing efforts to improve, I've entered my art to be judged by a mock jury.
The shows in which I participate are all juried shows, meaning that artists send in 3-5 images of their work, and a picture of their booth, to be judged - juried - by a panel. The ones who score above a certain level are accepted, and the others are rejected. In some of the shows, the rejections are eight or 10 times the acceptances. So, 2,000 artists apply; the show accepts 160, and 10 of them probably have been invited back.
While every show is a gamble, the "best" shows are generally the ones with histories of solid sales. This also means good attendance, strong marketing, thoughtful organization and, ideally, generally fair weather. Of course, everyone wants to get into them.
I'm grateful to have been accepted into a handful of the top 15 shows in the country - but generally, I've not been accepted into the top 10 shows. And I want to be. If it's that my work isn't strong enough, I want to know how to improve. If my booth isn't enticing enough, I want to know how to make it better. If my photos aren't good enough, I need to know that, too.
It's scary to go into a situation like this, especially if you have little or no formal training. But I'm going to do it. The responses to my art will be delivered in public, with me and other artists sitting in the room. I am going to listen hard, take to heart what they say, but remember that my painting is my painting, and that people - regular people, not sitting on a jury - respond to it, love it and buy it.
Living, Breathing, Healthy Dogs of the Day
The lightbulb-eating incident ended happily for everyone involved. Abby, left, and Koko survived their stupidity. I didn't murder them, either. Here they are, happy to come in and get cookies - and maybe look for more yummy stuff to ingest.
A Final Thought
"I paint for myself. I don't know how to do anything else, anyway.
Also I have to earn my living, and occupy myself."
- Francis Bacon