Saturday, March 19, 2016

Competitions--Entering, Rejections, and Acceptances

Lately I have been getting more of the R (rejection) letters than the A (acceptance) letters. I've consoled myself by acknowledging that I am in a transitional period.  I have been moving from river flora and fauna to more figurative work. The transition is challenging, and I have been slowly getting better at finding my voice in this new body of work.

Finally I received an "A letter" from the NWWS 46th International Open Exhibition. My painting, Enduring the Cure, was one of only 56 accepted paintings by Juror Jeanie McGuire.

After its creation, I did not post the painting or send the image out to a competition because it was about a personal experience with my daughter.** (I posted just this snippet on the right on Facebook quite awhile ago.) Finally I became comfortable with giving it a public presence.

The painting is full of symbolism and personal emotion. I felt that it had a unique presence that would not only tell part of my life story, but would resonate with almost anyone.

It has had a transformation from the original painting. Although I loved this from the beginning, I came to see the painting as too busy. You can see that the final painting has quiet corners, letting the viewer sink into a more intimate look at the figure and blanket. That is the story.

It is this edited painting that I have submitted to two other competitions before getting this acceptance to the NWWS Exhibit. The acceptance of this piece gives me confirmation that I successfully communicated  with at least one juror.

My good friend and fellow artist, Ruth Armitage told me, "Have faith in a good painting." I'm glad I took her advice. She will be giving a talk "Oh Boy! Another Rejection!" at our upcoming Watercolor Society of Oregon convention. I plan on getting a front row seat.
Enduring the Cure
Gouache on Watercolor Paper
Image 29 x 22 inches, Framed 36 x 29 inches

**Two years ago my daughter went through a radical procedure of chemotherapy and stem cell transplant to cure Multiple Sclerosis.


An Old Observer said...

this post confirms what I believed was in that painting just by looking at it. I'm so pleased you had this acceptance at last. Ruth is right, we have to believe in our work.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Margaret. Those of us who know your story can easily connect with this great painting. Those who do not know your story can see that it does have a very meaningful story. Way to go!!


Ruth Armitage said...

I knew this painting would find the right juror! Congratulations for your faith and perseverance, but mostly for your courage to paint a moving and personal subject in a unique way.