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Monday, March 10, 2014

The Roller Coaster Ride of Juried Shows

'A Moment of Silence'         24x36          pastel on board          ©Karen Margulis
available $650 click here
 It was a good weekend. No it was an amazing weekend!  My granddaughter Greta was born on Saturday. Mom, dad and baby are all doing well and we can't wait to meet Greta!  It really can't get any better than that!  So when I found out I had two paintings accepted in the Southeastern Pastel Society's 16th International Exhibition it was a very nice way to end the weekend.

I was lucky this time.  I entered what I felt was my best work at the time. I picked my personal favorites. But you just never know what will resonate with the juror. I am always prepared for rejection. I realize that being an artist is like riding a roller coaster....full of ups and downs. And I have discovered over time that when you don't get through one door....there is another one waiting for you. So I keep trying even when things don't go my way.

Don't let the fear of failing stop you from trying!  There is a lot to be gained from entering juried exhibitions.  Entering shows has helped me become a better artist!  How?


  • It gives me a goal...a reason to work hard and paint enough so that my work continues to grow. The first year I began painting I went to the SPS exhibition. I was inspired and awed at the wonderful pastel work. I decided I would work hard to get better and eventually get in that show. It wasn't my only goal but it was a big one...and it helped push me to paint everyday.(I did get in that next show)
  • It validates  me as an artist. Some of us don't need validation. But some of us find it helpful. If we are recognized by our peers and have someone say we painted well....it helps motivate us to do more. Even if you don't have your work accepted just going through the process makes it all real. 
  • It helps me get out and meet other artists.  Art can be a lonely business. I love my alone time in the studio but I enjoy sharing with other artists. Joining art groups and entering shows gets me out of the studio and has allowed me to meet the most amazing people.
  • It makes me stronger....whether accepted or not ...entering a show and going through the process puts me on that roller coaster.  I have  learned to adjust and deal with the ups and downs and how to make the best of the ride. Just remember you have to enter to ride! 


Here are the two paintings that were accepted. The painting at the top of this post was not accepted.

'Treasures of the Marsh'         18x24    pastel

'North Garden in Winter'        8x10       pastel 

8 comments:

Judy Felsen said...

Karen your philosophy about entering shows is mine as well. I've been accused of being too competitive but i keep entering shows so that i improve and grow. Congratulations. I love your blog.

katybee said...

Welcome to the world, Greta and congratulations, Karen, on the acceptances! Both paintings are lovely but I have really enjoyed seeing those winter scenes you did this year and this one in particular has a lot of impact.

Susan Williamson said...

Congratulations. The paintings are beautiful! I just wrote a
Title bit about this "show thing" last week after listening to Alyson Stanfield talk about it. Our work is mostly solitary. After awhile, it's difficult to evaluate our efforts.

Donna T said...

You are a grandmother! Wow, that's great news, Karen - congratulations to you and your family! Congrats on the acceptances too!!

Judy Baker said...

What a wonderful weekend! Congratulations on your new granddaughter and acceptance into the show!!! Love your paintings and blog!!!

Sea Dean said...

Yes it is odd. I love the painting at the top of the blog and I'm ambivalent about the other two. But who am I to judge? I was a top seller at the last local show, didn't get into the latest and struggled with a submission to a large show that was canceled at the last minute. Go figure!

robertsloan2art said...

Congratulations on your granddaughter and on the show!

I never agree with judges. It figures. I love the painting at the top of this post, it's my favorite of the three. They're all that good but that golden light always grabs me, so naturally that first scene is going to resonate more.

Good advice about entering shows and building up to them. I did the best portrait of my cat that I've ever done for a show, put in the time and preliminaries to get serious on it and while I didn't win anything, I am so happy with it that it was well worth trying! To this day it's still a favorite.

I'm rearranging my schedule in the hope of having more painting time, cutting back on medical appointments. So maybe I can start thinking of shows again and serious works. It would be fun.

Carol Flatt said...

Congratulations, Karen! A well deserved acknowledgement of your talent and hard work. And, enjoy that new granddaughter...one of life's precious gifts!