I’ve been a little nostalgic lately. Maybe it has something to do with the school year ending and the realization that the kids will be moving up in grade years. (My oldest will soon be a Junior in High School. Sheesh!!)
Maybe it is because I’m in a transition period with my art. I have a few years of starting up my art career under my belt now and I am beginning to understand where I think I want to be going.
I’ve been trying on coats.
I’m talking in analogies, of course, but it is the best way I know how to explain some of the growing pains I’ve been going through.
Two coats come to mind. The 1st I’m trying on. I’ve been applying for more juried shows and even submitting my work to be included in solo or small group exhibits.
This is harder than you might think.
It requires a lot of noodling to get the images to the show’s digital specifications. There is usually an application fee that is non-refundable (meaning I won’t get it back, even if my work is rejected). Sometimes I even have to submit an artist statement, resume, and/or blurb about the work as well.
Not to mention the vulnerability I aways feel. It doesn’t matter that I’m a nice person, what matters to the judges is how well my work holds up on its own.
I just submitted my work to a handful of upcoming exhibits and already I’ve received two rejection letters. Ouch! But I realize that to be in this competitive field requires a thick skin. So I’ve filed my rejection letters away and hope for the best for the next round of judging.
The other coat I’m shedding. Namely, I’ve had to recently let go of two galleries that carried my art. I really liked the galleries and their owners, but neither of them seemed to be a good fit for my work.
I have to admit that taking my paintings out of them stung, but in the end I knew it was for the best.
I don’t want to sound like I’m rambling. All this nostalgia and growing is leading me to a painting that I just received back from one of the galleries I let go.
Its name is Random Choices III and it was one of my first series of paintings I did when I restarted my art career almost 5 years ago.
This painting, like many of my paintings in the beginning of my art career, is part of my Word Painting series. It was a series I developed based from a 365 project to dust off the cobwebs and reboot my creativity. (Very briefly, I developed a project where I would think of a word or phrase relative to me each day, do a sketch about it, and journal what it meant to me.)
Back in July 2012, my phrase for the day was Random Choices. I wrote about how in my life and art career I’ve had to make decisions and choices, many that could go either way or not have a straight answer. But all the same, the choices and decisions had to be made.
The sketch I drew was nothing earth shattering, yet pleasing to look at. That is why I must have felt the need to investigate the design and concept further, by developing a painting from it. (I actually think I created two paintings from this image, but I can’t find the other one! I may have painted over it to reuse the canvas. I do that sometimes in fits of frugality!)
This painting is a result of those investigations. I chose to concentrate on the lines and movement in and in-between them.
Even though I have now moved on to painting other subjects and my style has changed, looking back on this painting fills me with a certain bit of pride.
Just look at that blue swoop. It’s a beautiful swoop! I can tell that I was beginning to loosen up with my paintbrush and become comfortable with colors and line.
I must also admit that I still ponder the concept of choice.
More and more I’m beginning to feel that my choices are not as random as I once thought. Not that I’m that old, but I certainly feel that way when I say something, feeling that I’ve only said it once or twice, and someone retorts, “Mom, you always say that!”
I’ve learned not to be too offended by it. I choose to believe that this means that I am somewhat reliable and dependable, traits that may not be very exciting but ones I’ve come to admire in myself and others.
Maybe my choices are predestined within me and not random at all. How many more coats will I need to try on to figure it out?
What’s your take on random choices- the choices you’ve made throughout your life? How has your perceptions changed (or not) about them. Please share!