Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm A Loser, But I Don't Really Care Much

Steep Red Roof, 2008, Oil on Panel, 11x14

For the most part I have stopped entering competitions. However, I still usually enter two that are sponsored by our local arts organization. One of those is a national competition and the other is regional. The regional is usually a slam dunk for me, but the national hasn't been at all. I was accepted into it once a few years ago but haven't been since then. This year I entered Red Carol (you see, I did jinx myself by mentioning it!) and while I hoped entering something different would change my luck I can understand why it wasn't accepted. I don't think it's quite right, plus it really doesn't translate in a jpeg, a common problem with my work, unfortunately.

Then yesterday I received a rejection letter from The MacDowell Colony. I wasn't terribly surprised, I have heard it is very difficult to get into, but I did have my fingers crossed anyway. I have a thing now about doing residencies and that one would have been a good one for my resume. In a way though, while I am sure it would have been an incredible experience I am ok with not being accepted. Partly because it cements my feelings of not fitting in anywhere (heh )and I am very comfortable with that feeling, but also because it sounds like a very solitary sort of residency and part of what I enjoyed so much about the Vermont residency was the social aspect. I can be alone in my own studio here at home everyday if I want, I don't need to go somewhere else to do that. But despite that I will probably apply again, because I do think it would be valuable to do at some point. Plus I do have a bit of a competitive streak and I'd like to be accepted somewhere, at some point. Know what I mean?

And I did get accepted into the regional show at the local arts org. This year was funny and I wasn't so sure about it being a slam dunk. The judge was Julian Hatton (he lives about an hour away, which qualifies him as local) one of the visiting artists that I got to know while in Vermont. I think he liked my landscapes, although he only saw a few of them, but he was somewhat negative about the figures that I was working on at that point and he questioned whether doing still lifes would get me any recognition (if that was what I was going for). He was also the artist that I prattled on and on to about me, me, me and I was pretty sure I was pretty irritating to him by the time he left. Poor guy. Anyway, I am still a fan of his work, though I doubt he remembers mine and probably didn't recognize the style of the painting he accepted into the show. But he and his wife, Alison Berry, who was also a judge, should be at the opening this Friday so perhaps we'll chat then. If he doesn't seem to remember me I will just slink around the edges of the gallery trying to avoid him.

Very mature, I know.

Now I am off to paint the new studio. We have had a bit of a heat wave for the last few days and while the attic isn't all that hot, it sure is when one is moving around a lot, painting the walls. But today is much cooler so I am hoping to make some progress up there. Pictures coming soon!

14 comments:

gr said...

yes, and maybe some pics around your flowers and garden too?

Sheree Rensel said...

Tracy,
Don't feel bad. I never fit in anywhere either. I have always felt like an odd duck. I don't mind that, but I always wondered why I feel this way. I am not sure this feeling will ever go away.
Actually in some ways, I am relieved I feel like a square peg because I look around and don't see all that much I really want to be associated with in this world! :-)

Natalya said...

ah yes rejection letters.. i've got plenty of those...

Julie said...

Ever tried for the Cill Rialag Project? An artist I work for is doing that residency in Ireland for three weeks in August. She will have her own stone cottage on a cliff overlooking the ocean. It looks amazing!

Tracy said...

Just took a bunch Gary and will put them up tomorrow.

Thanks, Sheree, most of the time I don't feel bad about not fitting in, but sometimes it would be nice. Mostly it's ifine though. Also, it is possibly my own perception that I don't feel like I fit anywhere, many of my friends have been surprised to learn that I feel this way.

Natalya, yes I now have a few more to add to my book. I keep all of them:)

Martha Marshall said...

Most juried competitions are just moneymakers for the organizations that put them on. I once worked for a non profit whose judge ended up not going through the slides after promising to jury them. So all of us on the office staff sat upstairs with the projector and juried it ourselves as a group. That's how exacting these things can be sometimes -- not!

If you think about it that way, you can be selective about the ones you'd like to try for without being attached to the outcome.

Martha Marshall said...

PS - In my previous comment I meant to say "for a big annual juried show" so stick that in somewhere when you're reading.

painterchum said...

welcome to the club...rejections letters should be a badges of honour for artists...it shows courage to soldier on despite them.

Tracy said...

Martha, yes, I know many of them are moneymakers, and I don't enter those. However, I have decided to continue entering these two, because I think they are handled properly. The fees are very minimal and I am also a big supporter of local arts org. I know from experience that their costs for the shows are just barely covered by the entrance fees.

Painterchum, I am already in the club honey, I have a whole book of rejection letters:) I save them all.

steve said...

We are in good company. Much of the worlds great art has been and is being created by those who do not "fit in". By those who "lose" in juried shows. By those with there own ideas. Three cheers for the "black sheep" !

Sheree Rensel said...

Steve, I think about this all the time. As artists, we are supposed to have a unique vision. If we do, we are doing a great job. Yet, I think there are times when we are shunned if our work doesn't fit the "mold". I feel the same frustration about shows that offer prizes. I ask "First Place" for WHAT?
You know?
Oh geesh...back to work.
LOL LOL

Michelle said...

A word on the McDowell Colony. It is very eclusive and very solitary. It is local here, it is what they are known for. The feeling here is that you have to already be a big name in your field to get in, or so it seems at times.

Ed Terpening said...

Wow, this one is magical. Bravo!

Daphne said...

Hi Tracy.

It's been ages since I've checked in and the only post I had a chance to read is this one because I could relate to the title!

I was just rejected for my first grant and having gone to a meeting with the advisor to fine tune it before submitting I was left thinking it was a slam dunk because it covered all of the bases and she seemed to think that it was really good.

And yet the jury obviously felt differently about it and I'm trying to figure out what the appropriate adult behavior would be when faced with rejection. So far crying and throwing my disc of images (when no one else was in the house) hasn't made me feel better. Go figure! Thanks for the post. It's nice to feel disappointed along with others.