These are the two paintings I delivered to the juried show a couple of days ago (see NEWS for show details) and I'm glad that that's over with. I find showing quite stressful even if by now I really should be used to it! It probably has something to do with stage fright - you are displaying a very personal part of yourself and thereby leaving yourself wide open to anyone's critique and judgement - you can never be sure what kind of response you will get, only that it will be quite arbitrary! A thick skin is essential and understanding that for every one who loves your work, there will be one who hates it or at least is totally uninterested in it. And even if I can't really complain personally, I guess, I think that the fear of being laughed out the door never quite goes away!!! I just hope that they have been hung well, so that they will be seen to their best advantage - in a show like this you have no control whatsoever. Anyway, I will know in a few days - and I will feel better when I get them home again in about four weeks!
The best remedy for me when I feel a little unsettled for whatever reason is to take the dogs with me and go for a walk at one of my favorite places - where I can find a sense of peace as well as inspiration for most of my work: the dyke trails along the Fraser River Delta and the Roberts Bank Estuary. We were there last Sunday and it was incredibly lovely: not sunny, but with the special light you can find there under a light cloud cover, wild flowers in abundance, songbirds twittering, a pair of Blue Herons flying and squawking overhead, geese honking in the distance and a tiny toy ferry out towards the horizon. And did I mention that I found some of the season's first ripe and sweet wild blackberries? And hardly anyone else was there - I think that we only met about three people (+ dogs) - it was so peaceful and so special; it makes it very difficult to fully comprehend and believe, that this is the same world where so much violence and so many other horrors are happening right now.
And then, of course, to-morrow I can finally get back in the studio and continue on the little canvasses I had to put on hold to do practical chores - I find that after about a week out of the studio I start getting really antsy and kind of depressed - which is a sign that I better get back in there again! So now I'm at that point ------------- but did I get all the chores done? Not quite, but the rest can wait a week or two - it won't be a disaster - and then I can get back to the rest and whatever new ones have crept up as they are sure to do!
Three little canvasses on the go - from the very beginning till well on their way. I find working small frustrating as I feel constrained and lack the ability to freely and spontaneously letting go - but it helps to work on several at the same time and I am less likely to work a single one to death. So why do I do this? Mainly for practical reasons because small paintings are easier to fit in anywhere, people like them and they can also be hung in groups to great effect - and also to challenge myself, of course! The vertical one is almost finished as of today while the other two are close to being done as well.
A few weeks ago when I was thinking about what to do with this years new paintings that really should be shown and not just sit in my studio waiting for an eventual show in a year or two, I sent off two submissions for a couple of juried shows. I don't really like juried shows and find that they are tricky: being accepted really has little to do with the quality of your work (up to a point) - so many other things play a role; such as the number of submissions, the personal taste of the jury and how they can put a show together with a variety of styles, and how much space there is to hang - it is a daunting task and incredibly difficult - not to mention how on earth they decide on the awards!!! I take my hat off to them!
Of the two shows I entered I thought that I had a fairly good chance with the one, and I just heard that two of the three I sent in were accepted! That was very nice and encouraging. The other one I really don't expect to get into - but unless you try you will never know for sure. So give me an "A" for effort! I won't know for a few weeks yet, but wish me luck - I'll need it.
While I wait for the result I shall hopefully manage to finish at least two of these small canvasses ---------- and then I MUST get some of my much neglected garden tidied up!!!