It’s still a thrill for me to receive recognition of any kind at a judged show, but especially a first-place ribbon! The winning work, ‘Courier’, is a case study in how crazy the art world can seem.
‘Courier’ previously sold as a small 5”x7” on an easel, so I was convinced it would be well received as a larger work. Since producing it as a 12”x18” it has shown in four different galleries, and twice in one of them. Plus, still another ‘pop-up’ show. At least three of those occasions were judged exhibits. Wherever it has shown, it has drawn attention, but never an award, and obviously, no sale (I retire all sold work, at least in that size or smaller). So to go from essentially a participant to first place is remarkable!
The lesson, of course, is several fold. First, even among professionals, art is very personal. It’s always an honor for me to be accepted into an exhibit and, because I know the selections of awards are very subjective decisions by the judges, I don’t feel in competition for awards. I’m just happy to be there. Second, it’s important that an artist does not allow one single gallery, or one single exhibit, to define their work. Especially if the work is something new or different, it may take many showings before an audience begins to appreciate it. And third, never give up on a cherished work. Remember that Picasso’s ‘Ladies of Avignon’ sat in a corner of his studio for close to a decade because almost none of his peers liked it. Yet it became one of the most important works of 20th century art – maybe even changed the course of art.
Now, ‘Courier’ is not ‘Ladies of Avignon’ so please don’t think I’m comparing the two! I’m very humbled ‘Courier’ has been so well received and very grateful to everyone who has been drawn to it. Taking a line from ‘Bull Durham’, “Happy to be here, just hope I can help the ball club!
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NOTE ON THE LAST BLOG – One of my best friends has suggested that my blog of 2/18/2019 was “elitist and looks down the nose”. Ok, so I regret that I worded things so poorly that anyone would be offended. Artists who exhibit at art-in-the-park and such festivals work long, hard hours just to prepare, then spend many more long hours at the event itself. They truly make the world a more beautiful place. They have my admiration. My point was that dealing with the public … well, you don’t want me doing that! I am an introverted curmudgeon to my very core. Actually talking with people in public … sober … I shudder at the idea!
I exhibit in galleries because producing work on metal is quite costly. I can’t compete on the lower end of the market, and I’ve come to realize I don’t want to. I try to display my work in an environment commensurate with costs and quality. That said, I will point to my Collect page (which desperately needs to be updated) where I state that I am willing to produce ANY work upon request as a low cost, signed print. Anything listed there or anything in this blog. $30 bucks. Cheap.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.