Years ago I read that Edgar Degas would visit the homes of his collectors, remove his work from their walls, and take the art home to make changes. Not sure if this story is true, and I can't possibly compare myself to Degas. However, if it was good enough for him, it is definitely good enough for me.
Below is an image of a painting that I did years ago. I always liked the composition, partly because it reminded me of the place that inspired the art. I was visiting Glacier National Park (heaven on earth) with my family when I was riveted by these beautiful birch trees. The sun was hitting them in what felt magical to me. I took a photo and this painting was the result.
Fast forward several years, and I still have the painting, but found that changes were calling out to be made. So, I took that painting off the wall, removed it from the frame, and began making changes. Whew, it feels like the work that I would make now. Thanks to Mr. Degas for the permission to make changes as time progresses if possible.
Reaching- Late Winter, Pastel, 36 x 24 inches, ©Lynn Goldstein
This was the first painting of mine that won an award in a national competition
Have you ever wondered about entering a juried art show in your community or elsewhere? Here are some short (and hopefully sweet) tips for being successful:
1. Enter what you deem your best work, and display it professionally. I just judged a show in my local area this afternoon and was impressed with the quality of the work. Living in the Washington, DC area, where there are some terrific artists, I was’t surprised to find professionally crafted work. There have been instances in the past when I haven’t selected work for an award because of shoddy framing. That didn’t happen today. Yay!
2. Do your homework. Take a look at the judge’s background and work. Don’t do this with an eye toward entering work that looks like the judge’s work. I can say from experience, that I rarely select work that looks much like my own unless it is exceedingly well done. I hold work that is similar to my own to a very high standard. Study the work of the judge to learn more about art, and also to see if you respect the artwork that the judge makes.
3. Enter work that is exceptional, not safe. Collector’s may select safe art, but judges rarely do. Work that wins awards is exceptional. When looking to enter a show, ask a respected artist for their opinion if you can to get help in your selection process.
4. Read the prospectus carefully, and follow it to the letter. This just makes sense. Print out the prospectus rules and read over them more than once to ensure that your work is presented properly. You wouldn’t want a great piece to be rejected for a silly technical mistake.
5. Don’t take a rejection (or an acceptance) too seriously. Selections for juried shows are completely subjective. The results are the opinions of one or a handful of people. My artist friends and I have had work win awards in some shows while the same work wasn’t even selected for others. Remember this so that you are able to keep juried shows in proper perspective.
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