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Woods at Lincoln – Study

April 3, 2012

Woods at Lincoln - Study, Oil on Canvas 11" x 14"

The ying and yang of art as a living. How to control the ups and downs?

For me last Friday was…, let’s say interesting. Not because of the $640 million lottery drawing Friday night. Not because of the NCAA Final Four basketball this weekend. It was interesting because of the dreams, aspirations, and goals which I hold for my art career.

I had been awaiting a positive response to my entry for selection to a plein air competition held annually on the east coast. A large, energetic event. Last year over $250,000 worth of art was sold during the final three days of the event. Not photographs, or jewelry, ceramics, do-dads and what-cha-ma-call-its. 2D Art.  Paintings. Paintings were selling at this event. In the current environment, this phenomenon is a dream. For the committee’s consideration,  I had selected, what we felt were, my strongest plein air paintings from 2011. I sent my submission early and I prayed. I prayed for the opportunity to attend this event and paint with outstanding artists. I prayed for the opportunity to make new contacts (artists, collectors, galleries, etc.) and perhaps sell some art work.  I prayed for the assurance that my work is good enough to be among the outstanding artists that participate in this event.

On Friday morning, the official list of accepted artist was posted on the home page of the event’s website. I quickly scanned past Bachem and Barber and made my way to the L ‘s. Larsen… LaRock… Lynch…wait! Where is Linden. Check again. Nope, not there. I did not make the cut. Rejection. Feeling mad and sad at the same time. A direction for my summer activities is shot. Should I have sent different samples of my work? Would that have helped? Guess I will never know.

I went on with my day’s activities and had to work to get in the mood to paint. Normally not difficult to get into the mood for painting, but this day was tough.  Around noon, I took a break for lunch. Following that lump of a meal, I decided to check my e-mails. As I scanned and dismissed e-mails, based upon the subject lines, one caught my eye. An e-mail from the Midland Art Association. I opened the e-mail. Their Spring 2012 Juried Exhibition was opening to the public Friday evening. My painting, Franklin Stand, received a third place award in the competition. Outstanding.

Friday was interesting. No, we did not win the lottery. My teams are out of the NCAA tournament. I did not get selected to attend an art event. But my work did receive an award at an exhibition and I am a little bit happier. The sadness of rejection is turning into a competitive determination to create better work and, hopefully, gain acceptance to more events and earn more awards…and some sales would be nice too.

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