About 10 years ago my education and understanding of how certain shows are judged was increased when I served a two year term as the Exhibition Director of the National Watercolor Society. The society is one of the highest rated associations in the watercolor community. The annual international exhibition is selected with the greatest of integrity. The first year I had an eye opening experience. I sat in the room while the 3 judges selected the show. The judges viewed paintings projected on a screen. No talking is allowed and the judges vote yes or no with a device. No one knew how the other was voting. On this day the judges had to select 100 paintings from over 1300 entries. It is a very long day. In the first round of viewing all the painting more than half were rejected. How long do you think the judges viewed each painting, 2 minutes, 5 minutes…? How about an average of less than 10 seconds! My painting was rejected in the first round, and my heart sank.
That evening I cried and I poured out my heart out to my husband. Through Mike’s great wisdom, understanding, and love I came to realize I was giving ultimate power to others to determine how I felt about my artwork. From that day forward I decided I wouldn’t give that kind of power to anyone accept those who are a trusted friend, a mentor, or my husband.
I still haven’t gotten into that show but since that day I have gone on to earn signature membership in Watercolor West (WW), Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS), write two books on watercolor, featured in Splash 11 & 12, contributor to numerous other books, Watercolor Artist, Watercolor Highlights and various other magazines. I teach internationally and abroad. To illustrate my point the two paintings you see were rejected from one show to go on and achieve even greater recognition.
So what’s my point? Don’t let anyone define how you feel about your work! Be proud, hold your head up and let your brush sing with all its might!