Surprise! I just found this tucked in the back of my winning painting.
Back in October I blogged from Nashville, TN that a painting of my cat, Van Gogh, had been accepted into the Viewpoint 2010 exhibition. Viewpoint is a national juried exhibition sponsored each year by the Cincinnati Art Club. While I was in Cuba, this exhibition opened, and I later learned that I'd won the Eisele Gallery Award!
The award is a year's representation at this fine art gallery that features not only the works of contemporary artists from Ohio, but also historic paintings by some of Ohio's past masters.
Yesterday afternoon my thrill was to drop off work that will hang among these past masters. Tonight, I got a small thrill when I found this medal, sort of like I had just received the award in person.
But what happens to us emotionally when we don't get in to a show? Or when we don't get that coveted opportunity that we had hoped for? Recently I found some words of wisdom on this very thing while reading Robert Henri's 'The Art Spirit'. It is really great advice.
"DON'T worry about the rejections. Everybody that's good has gone through it. Don't let it matter if your works are not "accepted" at once. The better or more personal you are the less likely they are of acceptance. Just remember that the object of painting pictures is not simply to get them in exhibitions. It is all very fine to have your pictures hung, but you are painting for yourself, not for the jury. I had many years of rejections.
Do some great work, Son! Don't try to paint good landscapes. Try to paint canvases that will show how interesting landscape looks to you -- your pleasure in the thing. Wit.
There are lots of people who can make sweet colors, nice tones, nice shapes of landscape, all done in nice broad and intelligent-looking brushwork.
Courbet showed in every work what a man he was, what a head and heart he had.
Every student should put down in some form or other his findings. All any man can hope to do is to add his fragment to the whole. No man can be final, but he can record his progress, and whatever he records is so much done in the thrashing out of the whole thing. What he leaves is so much for others to use as stones to step on or stones to avoid.
The student is not an isolated force. He belongs to a great brotherhood, bears great kinship to his kind. He takes and he gives. He benefits by taking and he benefits by giving."