04 February 2012

Deadlines as lifelines.

"Karoly's studio" watercolor.
 Sometimes the best encouragement to paint comes from setting your own deadlines. And instead of setting artificial deadlines, I find contests and show entries provide tangible and unmovable dates to abide by.
This year, I am trying  to enter as many shows as possible. I even have a  list in my wall that indicates when the different deadlines are. For example, I always miss the National Watercolor Society deadline, I think I've entered three times in ten years, but not this time.  Above, my entry for this year. I am not sure if it will be accepted or not but at least I was motivated into action.

Sure, pressure like this makes painting more of a "job". I am normally assaulted by performance doubts: I am not good enough; I might no win anything; I am not totally happy with this piece, etc, etc... But the key for me is to keep excited about the goals shows represent: Waiting for the answer. Aiming to ever more prestigious shows and trying to match the quality of the artists that flock to those shows.

Rejection hurts a bit , but it is a necessary spur. Many times, I 'know" my piece wasn't up to snuff. In other occasions, I also "know" when a piece is going to do well for me.  This "knowing" is like an inner compass of quality. Am I getting better, more confident, or am I  falling asleep at the wheel.

"Moon Gasp, Dume Cove" oil, 20"x24
Above, my entry for the California Art Club, "On Location in Malibu". This is a larger piece as dictated by the venue. No problem, I need to paint bigger. It's a subject I rarely attempt. Again, a challenge I want to tackle.  Below, my entry for the Pasadena Gallery Association. This time it's a larger painting as well and it's a figure.

"Baker Girl" oil, 24"x18"
Sometimes, venues and shows are right down my alley. Below are my entries for the Fremont Gallery in South Pasadena and The San Marino Arts League show. I am well provided of pieces for these shows so it's a no-brainer.  I must add that entering shows and contest sometimes can be distracting but I keep my "excessive entering" in check by trying to pick the best match for my art or the most convenient.
 Next up: Oil Painters of America.  I know some top notch painters enter that one.
"Busters" oil, 8"x10"

"Conversation in the Garden" oil, 12x16


Jewel said...

Good luck with your entry, it looks good and I like your technique. I have just entered for a show but been turned down, and am now preparing for another one, so hoping for better luck this time.

Jose L De Juan said...

Thank you Jewel. My watercolor was accepted at the National Watercolor Annual Show. The baker girl wasn't accepted, I think it was the subject matter more than the painting itself. It's important to narrow down on what the show organizers are looking for. The theme of the Pasadena Gallery Association was "The beauty of the San Gabriel Valley". Obviously , a landscape is what they were looking for but I thought, hell, why not, my baker girl belongs in a show with that title. Wroooong. HAHA. Anyhow, next time.