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View Full Version : What I learned this week - Exhibits


rd2ruin
06-08-2003, 10:05 PM
At the Rittenhouse Square Arts Fest. Never really paid attention before, because I never was really looking at art before (just the girls :) ) but here's what I learned...

- Arlene is nice.

- There's really a difference between 'painting' and 'art'. Choose your side, apparently you can't have it both ways.

- Realistic oil paints do not seem to be as appreciated as realistic pastels and realistic colored pencils. (bad news for me LOL)

- A lot of people paint an awful lot of boring subjects. How many cityscapes of Philadelphia did I *really* need to see today?

- The difference in vibrancy between an acrylic and oil painting.

- I think artists would sell more if ... you know ... they said 'Hi' when you walked by. I walked around twice and didn't get one 'Hello' or reason to stop in other than the paintings themselves. Didn't see many artists talking to anyone but each other, and lots of sour faces. Blah Blah, I know, judge me by my paintings, blah blah... but ... aren't you here trying to ... SELL something that is probably more than I'm wanting to pay for it? Tell me a story, be friendly, keep me in the door.

- I discovered (my own opinion here) that I really dont care for watercolor paintings.

- There is serious misuse of the 'Ultramarine blue' in pastels these days. Too much "when in doubt, throw in some UB to spruce the joint up"

Now,I was shaking my head at the Winner (it was juried) of the show. Totally mind boggling. Not realistic, not particularly interesting, not compositionally correct. Average, as in very. Second place also very average (relative to some exceptional work I saw). When I heard that one of the judges was from the Philadelphia Art Museum, I either lost all faith in judged shows, or became convinced she had pictures of him with a goat or something... I'm not sure of which yet. If I were in the show, I would've probably been furious. I looked long and hard at all of her paintings, taking each in and failed to see what they saw, and I like to think I know something about composition, color, balance, structure and flow... maybe I dont, because on painting merit alone, hers were very, very, mediocre.

Anyway, that's what I learned this week.

Cheers!
- Greg

pampe
06-08-2003, 10:12 PM
LOL


I loved this

and it has been my experience at a lot of juried shows......


Thanks for the lesson!

Pam

soap
06-09-2003, 12:46 AM
Thanks for this report! Besides amusing to read it tells me something I will keep in mind!
It's a good idea to post your experiences of fairs and shows (as a visitor or an exhibitor) in this forum, I feel. Anyone else? :D

I know what you're saying about boring subjects.....I see quite a few 'twee little English landscapes' around here and the ever lasting vase with flowers......There's nothing wrong with certain subjects as long as it adds some interest to it......but I know that is easy to say..........
What you say about artists saying 'hello'.....hmmm.....funny you mention it.......I personally hate the arrogant 'I am artistic- so don't talk to me about art' air of some galleries and artists, but there seems to be a lot of it around. Saying 'hello' to visitors might make visitors feel pressured, but saying nothing might seem arrogant and disinterested...........the middle ground is always the hardest I suppose.......I hope to find out for myself soon.....:D

Dark_Shades
06-09-2003, 08:40 AM
Lol Greg....... shame you didnt ask the Judge, what were the merits of the winners painting.......... could of been alot of insight and eye opener lol ........

but isnt it very much ....... the same old story .......... different strokes for different folks ........ one mans meat is another mans poision........ and Beauty is in the eye of the beholder ....... and all that!

..... what is beautiful ........ what is appealing ..... ..... whats the meaning of life....... why am I here ....... well lol Im not..... back to work :p

.... mush! ...... mush!

nancymae
06-09-2003, 04:39 PM
That's very interesting Greg...and hliarious as usual (the goat reference).

I also have had some similar experiences over here in Wisconsin...shaking my head....at the awards at shows. Some of them deserve it...but others...I just don't know. I have also noticed that people that do get awards....never seem to get out of the mode they are in. There was one woman that won an award in a local art show about 3 years ago. Her pastels were fresh...and really eye catching. I was very happy for her. Her use of colors were absolutely electric!!! But....ever since then....she has done the exact same thing.....nothing different....nothing new. Same subject, same colors, same views....everything the same. So...sometimes success in winning those "awards" at those shows can be a deterrant (sp?) to your creativity.

I try to remember that those judges are just a couple of people...sometimes only one. What one person thinks is "The cat's Meow" doesn't mean it is what you should do for the rest of your natural life!! Try to please yourself (and sometimes that is an impossible task in itself!!)...and do work that interests you!!

I was not accepted into a juried show this year...and it hurt me for a couple of months....until I found out the people that were picked...were nationally known artists...with work MUCH better than mine (due to many more years of experience and being out there longer than me)....It made me feel better about it....but I always have to remember...if I try my hardest....(which I did)..and my ideas were originally mine...which they were....than that is all I can expect. If some ONE....did not like it...or I wasn't as good as the others....there will be someone else....somewhere that may think I am a good artist. I just know that I LOVE to do art...and I would love to get recognized...and sell my paintings...and I don't want that to be my first consideration. But hope that my joy in creating will never be lessened by my bottom line.


Just my two cents...

Nancy

Nancy

Mikki Petersen
06-09-2003, 04:41 PM
I've always heard "It's who you know not what you know". I have avoided entering any shows for this very reason, even though I know it is just an excuse. But I don't know anyone in the art world.

I agree with your assessment of subjects. Museums, in particular, seem to have room after room of the same old thing. I find, judging by my friends and family's choice of wall art that seems to be what the paying public wants though. An original piece that looks just like what the guy next door has. Now some of the galleries here on the West Coast have really bright and innovative work. Then again they have a lot of garbage that, IMHO, is scribbling meant to intimidate you into thinking you aren't a deep enough thinker to understand true art. And then there is the enevitable Thomas Kincaid...

Loved reading your commentary. Agree with Dawn that it would have been interesting to hear the judge's reasoning on their final choices, but then he probably wouldn't have admitted to the goat thing...

nancymae
06-09-2003, 05:16 PM
Did you hear that good ole Tom is going into writing books????

Yep...he has, or is going to have, a book about trout fishing.....my hubby's a writer....an outdoor writer at that....and is pretty angry about it........see....he shouldn't have teased me....about not wanting to paint like Thomas Kincaid.

:evil:

Mikki Petersen
06-09-2003, 06:23 PM
Oh, yeech! Nancymae, the sad part is his books will be best sellers because the same people who cannot recognize schmalze art won't be able to recognize the new con either.

Mo.
06-09-2003, 06:59 PM
Originally posted by rd2ruin
At the Rittenhouse Square Arts Fest. Never really paid attention before, because I never was really looking at art before (just the girls :) ) but here's what I learned...

- Arlene is nice.

- There's really a difference between 'painting' and 'art'. Choose your side, apparently you can't have it both ways.

- Realistic oil paints do not seem to be as appreciated as realistic pastels and realistic colored pencils. (bad news for me LOL)

- A lot of people paint an awful lot of boring subjects. How many cityscapes of Philadelphia did I *really* need to see today?

- The difference in vibrancy between an acrylic and oil painting.

- I think artists would sell more if ... you know ... they said 'Hi' when you walked by. I walked around twice and didn't get one 'Hello' or reason to stop in other than the paintings themselves. Didn't see many artists talking to anyone but each other, and lots of sour faces. Blah Blah, I know, judge me by my paintings, blah blah... but ... aren't you here trying to ... SELL something that is probably more than I'm wanting to pay for it? Tell me a story, be friendly, keep me in the door.

- I discovered (my own opinion here) that I really dont care for watercolor paintings.

- There is serious misuse of the 'Ultramarine blue' in pastels these days. Too much "when in doubt, throw in some UB to spruce the joint up"

Now,I was shaking my head at the Winner (it was juried) of the show. Totally mind boggling. Not realistic, not particularly interesting, not compositionally correct. Average, as in very. Second place also very average (relative to some exceptional work I saw). When I heard that one of the judges was from the Philadelphia Art Museum, I either lost all faith in judged shows, or became convinced she had pictures of him with a goat or something... I'm not sure of which yet. If I were in the show, I would've probably been furious. I looked long and hard at all of her paintings, taking each in and failed to see what they saw, and I like to think I know something about composition, color, balance, structure and flow... maybe I dont, because on painting merit alone, hers were very, very, mediocre.

Anyway, that's what I learned this week.

Cheers!
- Greg

Greg... You've had an eye opener obviously ~:D:D

I remember quite some years ago watching a TV programme on how selection of paintings were made to be hung in one of London's top Galleries.
There were these stuffed shirt art 'experts' sat on chairs in a row, and one by one the paintings were walked before them in a constant stream, all hopeful artists who had put their heart and sole into their work praying that their work would be selected ~ it was a procession of art~ half the time they didn't even raise their heads to look ~ then every now and then one of them would just nod his head, not even seeming to really look at it, the painting would then be taken out of the endless stream.

I've entered art competitions/juried shows just three times in my whole life ~ each time I obtained a certificate of merit ~ never the top prize ~ when seeing the the overall winning piece of art I just shook my head, not because I thought mine was any better, but because there were in my view other paintings that deserved to win, not the one that was chosen. At the end of the day, the winner will be the one that appeals to the judges~ what grabs their imagination, what style of work they like ~ nothing at all to do with whether it is realistic, impressionist or just plain awful, if it appeals to the person/persons who is/are judging the show it will win ~ in other words it's a lottery.

Here in this country they run yearly the Turner Award, you know the stuff~ piles of bricks and unmade beds ~ Damian Hurst and his cow in formaldehyde. (sp).

Now a National newspaper have just run a competition for true artists calling it 'Not the Turner Award' thousands of very, very talented artists entered, they printed the 400 finalists work recently in their newspaper, they will be hung in a gallery in London for a week, the overall winner took 20.000 prize.

The painting was good, but again in my opinion not the best that was enetered, it appeared flat like a cardboard cutout.

Next year I intend to enter, doubt if I'll win a top prize, but who knows who the judges will be that day?

I agree with what Dawn said too :

shame you didnt ask the Judge, what were the merits of the winners painting.......... could of been alot of insight and eye opener lol

I wonder what sort of waffle they would come out with. :D:D

Cheers,
Mo.

rd2ruin
06-10-2003, 01:01 AM
A couple observations from all your observations:

Thanks for uttering the name 'Thomas Kincaede'. I will not be able to sleep tonight. I'd nearly ... NEARLY managed to convince myself that his scourge on the art world was a bad, very bad, nightmare. If you threw the name Mark Kostabi in, I'd have no choice but to hurl myself out the window.

Here is the jury list for 1998's Turner Award: The Turner Prize jury included Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant, author Marina Warner, British Council exhibition officer Ann Gallagher and Japanese curator Fumio Nanjo as well as Tate Gallery director Nicholas Serota.

All of the art history professors and professional artists must have missed the invite, but thank heaven's they got one of the Pet Shop Boys. 'nough said there.

And dont even get me started on contempt-tuary art. However, it has it's place (in a deep, deep dark hole, very far away from me) in art, and if they want to continue to attempt to shock the art world (gee, he painted with elephant poop, isn't that shocking and wow and gee and yawn) because they value of celebrity over ability (I'd say Die Warhol Die, but it's too late) then have at it kids.... on your own time.

But for a general art fest, I was disappointed that the winner was not an individual who combined the technical and compositional skills worthy of an artist, whether thier choice of style was impression, expression, representation, abstract, or whatever.

Anyway, that's enough of my rant LOL. I'm just glad I wasn't hallucinating.

Cheers, and thanks to everyone for their insight.
- Greg