At the end of last year, I got a wild hair.. I decided that since I have never tried to enter any of my artwork into a show before, that I would go down to this gallery that I liked in Balboa Park (San Diego, CA) and enter a show. This particular gallery only accepts art by way of a juror... so the challenge was on. But here is where my self-torture comes in: I decided that I was not going to get into one show (which would have been a totally acceptable feat in my opinion)... I decided that I was going to get into EVERY show in a one year period. What the hell is the matter with me? I had nothing to lose the first time I went down there. You are only allowed to enter 2 paintings each show. One of them has to be 12x12" or under...and the other can be up to 8x8'. There is a different juror every show. My stomach hurts thinking about this... and it's over...
The painting at the top of this post is the first one I entered. I got in. Slight pressure ensued for getting into the next show.... I only had a "streak" of 1.
Pictured above is the 2nd painting that was juried in..second show. Another boost of confidence. I then decided that I would submit a different painting each submission...never the same painting twice. (Some artists submit their winning art into more than one show.) Now, while these two larger than 12x12" paintings were accepted, my one-foot paintings were not getting in. I was having trouble with the small size.
And then there was "The Score". This was a very emotional and personal piece that I made.. It's one of my largest paintings too. On this night, I actually stood back to observe the jury process... my first time. Of course, I had a stomach ache.. I am 3 months into my goal now... with two paintings behind me. Don't want to have to start from scratch again next year..the pressure was so much.
I remember watching the judge place the Juror's Choice award on this painting. I couldn't believe it...I was truly happy at that moment... thinking about how terrible it was to paint this piece. He also liked my small work, "Vintage Picnic", pictured below. I am on my way..
The regular show schedule took a break at this point to welcome the 52nd Annual International Exhibition. Talk about wanting to throw up. 1200 paintings were submitted into this show.. I entered three pieces, and "We Have Paris" got in. I was pretty beside myself.
I start to have a serious problem by this point.. I was making myself so nervous that I would break my streak, that I was painting and painting and painting over these paintings to get them just right. "Ocean Front" has a rusty lower portion that does not photograph well. In person, the Juror likes it and this one got in too. My smaller art is still struggling though.. maybe I am using all of my energy up on the larger pieces..
The July-August show brought some good news. A one-foot piece, "Prehistoric Afternoon" got into the show as well as my favorite painting, "Untitled Yellow" (shown below).
Untitled Yellow brought me my second Juror's Choice award. I am still honored and humbled when I am selected to be in a show...but to win? Honestly....it's a thrill and unexpected.
I had the pleasure of speaking with this Juror.. She is a professor at a college here and when asking me about my art education, she was surprised to find out that I do not really have formal art training. I have years of photography experience... but I didn't pick up acrylic paint until much later. That conversation made me really happy... I kept going.. SO many times I wanted to quit this self-imposed challenge I set on myself...
In September I submitted two paintings for consideration and landed both. The 24x24" painting "Fragments" (shown above, left) is a tribute to my brother.
Thankfully, the gallery welcomed a big photography exhibition following this show. Did I enter? NO! Are you crazy? The deal was to land paintings...not photographs.. maybe next year. ;)
Towards the end of this year I started to work on Yupo...a lot... developing the new online workshop, "Mixed Media Vacation". (Now maybe you see why I convinced myself I needed one!) This was the final show of the year.. Two paintings in. "Above" and another favorite of mine, "Borrego", pictured below.
I did it. A painting into every show this year. 12 originals in all. I am beat.
I don't know why I did that to myself... I do know that I am elated that I did it and stuck through the pressure for 12 months. It was really hard after I had a few entries under my belt.. and not knowing the juror or what their tastes would be was really difficult. I also exposed myself to a lot of paintings this year that I normally wouldn't have gone down to look at... artistic expansion for sure.
I also sold some paintings this year... that was a nice perk as well!
So this is how this works... I set a huge goal that makes me crazy...think I need a vacation... rest for a few hours and then find something else to throw myself in to. 2014 will be a new direction. I figure I have been-there-done-that with the gallery now... Now I will grow a section of my art brain that has been stalled...it's got cobwebs... and I know it's going to be a huge learning curve and push... and I'll tell you how I do next December.
Happy New Year, Everyone. Get out of your comfort zone and do something crazy. A little.