August 01, 2017

We Have a Winner

Way behind on my blog, but back in March I was very pleased and honored to win First Place Winner in the Emerging Artist category in the monthly on-line Art Muse Contest, with my entry Pioneer Daughter. This particular painting also won Directors Choice award in the annual BayArts juried competition in Bay Village, Ohio. Needless to say, or maybe I do need to say, that in my journey and efforts to improve as a painter, this was one painting in which a lot of things just seemed to go right. It certainly doesn't always happen, but when it does happen it feels pretty good. It was reassuring to receive the validation of what I was feeling by doing well with this painting.

Which leads me to the following segue.

Should we as artists enter juried shows and competitions? What do they mean? What purpose do they serve? Are they a valid measure of skill, creativity, progress, etc? That question it turns out is a fairly personal one. Not personal in the sense that it's something that I feel I have to keep to myself, but rather that the reasons are going to vary from person to person. I can only say that for me, I feel as though they do serve a purpose. In my view when I enter a juried competition I am in a sense asking the juror(s) for their critique of my work. Granted, it's a very stark critique. I'm not getting detailed feedback on what might be lacking in their view. But I'm accepting of whatever decision they make and I don't complain. If I don't get accepted (which has up to this point been more often than not) I take it as impetus to work harder and to take a more honest look at what I could do better in the future. I find honest and qualified critique from someone I respect to be golden. I seek it out actively. I do try to self-critique, but sometimes it seems we can just be blind to our own bad tendencies. So having that second set of eyes to me is really key to learning and making progress.

Anyway, just a few of my thoughts on participating in juried shows and competitions.


Pioneer Daughter
12 x 16 Oil on Linen

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