View Full Version : Rejection Notices and personal Growth

06-28-2005, 11:14 AM
Working as a full time artist for two years...one of my goals have been to enter several regional and national shows. I noticed that several artists in the area (including myself) seem to handle the rejection notices differently. I always like to post mine in the studio as a reminder that not everyone likes what I do and possibly I need to work a little harder. I'm curious as to what others do to turn something negative into something postive.

06-28-2005, 11:17 AM
I'm thinking of a cork board, with all the notices pinned with ornate hat pins to it, in nice light, and a tightly cropped in comp of the whole thing, in a landscape format would probably make the next exhibition- what do you think?

Kathryn Wilson
06-28-2005, 11:30 AM
It's hard to imagine anyone not liking your work Mike - but each to his own.

My only beef with shows, especially the all-inclusive shows, is the deference to oil paintings and seeing all the awards going to one specific medium - judge my work on my painting, not what I paint with.

06-28-2005, 11:31 AM
I think your probably right...may even win the big$$$

06-28-2005, 11:36 AM
Kyle...right on. Some of the last shows I've been in several awards have gone to photographs or copies and then to the oil paintings....

Kathryn Wilson
06-28-2005, 11:42 AM
And then, there's the oil pastelist - I've had my OP paintings mislabeled at every show I've entered locally, and even when I point out the mistake, they do not correct it. I wonder what the judges think when they view a painting obviously not soft pastels, but labelled incorrectly.

06-28-2005, 11:58 AM
I sometimes believe that many judges don't know what they're judging. For many years Cheyenne sponsored a national show that always grouped pastels, drawings, watercolor and mixed media into one group. Pastel was finally given it's own catagory last year after Ramon Kelly did the judging.
I've seen oil pastels mixed in with oil paintings and mixed media

06-28-2005, 12:13 PM
Yanno.. if you did it in a trompe l'oeil manner, it'd be a *big* hit- you could make one of those hat pins come right at the judge's eyes....

Competitions are a crap shoot- neat and nice of you win, but you have to remember it's a fool's game gamble. Don't bet the rent on 'em.

06-28-2005, 12:34 PM
How right you are sweetbabyj...recently I had two paintings rejected from a show only to enter them in other shows of which both won awards. I do think it's a little like the lotto.

06-28-2005, 03:57 PM
Well, I have never been through this, and it will likely be years if I ever do enter a show, but I do not handle rejection well. I would probably rant and rave and tear it into pieces- of course, then you could color the little pieces and make a collage IF you were more postitive that me!

06-28-2005, 04:19 PM
Well I just did a show this past weekend and you got to choose one painting and put it in the judging area. Honestly I am not quite sure how it all works but I believe the public gets to vote and there are judges...plus there are "purchase prizes" which mean that local business people have donated money and then there is a lottery and the "winners" amongst them get to choose work for their offices.
Last year I won a purchase prize. THis year, when I honestly believe the artwork was much better, I was rejected. I had a bout 2 minutes of feeling sorry for myself and then took a deep breath and figured it was their loss. I didn't see the winners but I suspect a lot were photos and watercolors. Those are popular around here. I know a couple of friends who do pastels and I am not sure if they won this year but I know in the past they have. So it's hard to say.
But it is highly subjective...it is what a particular person likes at that moment.
And for me it was a major milestone to not have a week of depression wondering what was wrong with my painting. Hey! It was one which Deborah had said was terrific and told me to enter it in some competitions. Too bad she wasn't a judge! :D
Anyhow, I considered her praise far more valuable than the opinion of someone I don't know and respect.

But...it is a disappointment when you don't win. It would be a lie to say it isn't!


Kathryn Wilson
06-28-2005, 05:24 PM
What I should never do is go to the Opening Reception and view the paintings that won the awards - about 1/2 the time I stand there perplexed as to what in the world they were thinking - the other 1/2 of the time I fall in love with the paintings and feel honored I was in the middle of all that talent. I honestly wish the judges would give a synopsis of what they were looking for, what they found, and why they chose what they chose. It sure would help artists have a fresh look at a painting that didn't quite make it.

06-28-2005, 07:19 PM

Here in Portugal we don't have any art competitions that I'm aware of. However I have a list with competitions in USA and I may enter one soon.
I know that I'm not capable of doing a work with a quality elligible for any kind of competition, but I'd like to enter in a sportive way. Of course that the most probable thing to happen is to not even be admited.
Now about what one feels if rejected. Well no one likes it, but one has to question the reason and learn from that.
If I don't get into any competition due to poor work, I can always have my paintings at the Museum of Bad Art :-)



06-30-2005, 02:25 PM

I'm planning to enter some competitions in the future, and I think I read some tips that sound good to me about looking for jurors who you respect. Don't be disheartened when you don't win any prize, there are a number of factors that go into judging, and some are political, too. I've heard different artists comment on how a single painting that wasn't even accepted into one juried show, that was entered into another show and won an award. I also always think about Van Gogh who never really sold any of his work - not that I compare my artwork in really any way to his, but I just think you have to make your artwork for your own satisfaction, and hopefully, other people will like it too. I don't know if you noticed, but the Pastel Journal published a small booklet that is a guide to entering juried shows (it actually is comprised of magazine articles from previous issues.) That has some good tips in it, and I think that's where I saw the tip about looking for the particular jurors you prefer. Also, according to the Paul Dorrell book, 'Living the Artist's Life', if you ever plan to get into a gallery, it helps to have a resume where you've been accepted into juried shows. A good thing about actually having received a B.F.A, was that in school you had to deal with rejection and constructive criticism, so that you became a stronger person who was able to use rejection to your advantage and grow from each incident. Hope this helps, and good luck with everything!

06-30-2005, 04:02 PM
Interesting thread. I've only been trying to do art for a short time now, so certainly don't feel up to entering a show at this time, if ever, but interesting to contemplate for the future. There is a woman in my current class who only started taking lessons last October, just a few months before I did. She has already entered several shows, and won a couple awards, and just had a piece accepted at a New York gallery, yet to be honest I don't think her stuff is professional looking. I don't have an truly educated eye, I know, but her stuff looks very amateurish to me, nice amateurish, but not at all polished looking.

She keeps trying to talk me into entering shows, and claims that if she can do it I can do it. It makes me wonder about these shows. She claims that she goes to these shows all the time and my stuff is far better than most of what she sees there. This is where I have a problem. I'm working at it, but I know I have miles to go before I can even be in the same room with most of you. So it seems there must be different levels of shows. Does this seem likely? I'm in the New York Metropolitan area where it seems like competition would be pretty fierce, yet she claims it's easy to get into these various shows. Makes we wonder what sort of shows they are, but she said she finds out about shows from some artist's magazine she subscribes to. I don't handle rejection well, so need to get psyched up for that too, LOL.

But from reading here it surprises me to think of pastels and photographs being judged in the same category! They are so totally different. I can't imagine that photos would not have a category of their own, even if other stuff like pastels and watercolors got lumped together.

Debbie C.