Wednesday, May 5, 2010

More than just a trip

This past week, Howard and I were down in Scottsdale, Arizona in the land of dessert flowers and art. We had a wonderfully full week of activities at the Oil Painters of America National Exhibition. Warm weather (a change from the snow we are still getting up in Montana - sigh) added to the delight of the week. From Studio and plein air painting to informative seminars and incredible demonstrations, dinners and brunches, there was more than enough for everyone to do. Artists from all over the country, including Canada and Mexico poured into the town. It was an artists’ pow-wow! Friends on Facebook were finally able to meet face to face. And of course there was the incredible National Exhibition. About 230 spectacular paintings are stunningly on display at the Legacy Gallery. The show will be up until the end of May and is available to view on the Internet as well. If you would like to see it for yourself, just click here. Magnificent is the word that comes to mind when I think about this show.

This year my painting was rejected, meaning it didn’t get juried into the show. There were over 2,600 entries and only 198 paintings that were accepted. It is titled Les Amis Vieux ( The Old Friends ) 20 x 20.

I was disappointed, but I didn't let that keep me from coming to the show! There are too many other reasons to attend! I was thrilled, however, for my husband, Howard Friedland, who did get his painting juried into the show and it looked wonderful. Le Bateau au Repos ( The Boat at Rest) 16 x 20

Years ago, as a young budding artist, I entered the national shows and was thrilled when I actually got a painting juried into a show. It was always a strain on my budget to enter these competitions and even more so to ship the painting if it was accepted. However, what I regret was that I didn’t follow my paintings to the show and attend the openings. Now I realize that attending the shows is where your world really expands. You meet like-minded people with the same goals and questions; you make links all over the country with artists and patrons, you meet the editors of magazines and you meet the gallery owners.

And about the shows….Way beyond the thrill of seeing your painting, your friends painting or a painting of an artist that you admire, hanging proudly on the walls…. the total concept of viewing a national show as a unit, standing in the middle of the show and seeing how the paintings project to the viewers is an awesome experience. If I am lucky and one of my paintings is hanging in a show, then I can really see how my paintings look side by side with others.

I already have another competition in mind that I would like to enter my piece in. My philosophy is this….If you believe in your painting, but it is rejected, just enter it again in another show. The same painting that got rejected could get an award in the next show. Never get discouraged by rejection. That is part of being an artist. Besides, the rejections can teach us way more than the acceptances and awards!

So, as my dad always said….”Back to the Drawing Board” or in my case…. the EASEL!

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