19 Aug 2014

Light at the end of the tunnel....

For all you artists out there, here`s a question, (or two, or three):
1. Do you enter art competitions?
2. Do you think it raises your profile/awareness of your work?
3. Are they fairly judged?

Often, it really does seem a little like playing the lottery. Apparently, it is usually anyone`s guess what the different judging panels are after, as more often than not, there is quite a large discrepancy amongst the entries.  Art is by nature, so subjective, setting talent, experience and other factors, aside.  And of course, it generally costs us money to enter our work in these competitions, and send work if we pass the shortlisting stage, retrieve work if we don`t, or if it doesn`t sell, etc.  And not to mention the hefty commission fee if it does.  But still, many of us plough on, in the hope that one day.......

Well for me, this has been quite a good year, especially considering I have only been a professional artist for 3 years now.  But sometimes it`s the piece that you don`t think will cut the mustard that makes it through, and the one that you secretly think is quite good that doesn`t make the grade. Hmmm.  I don`t enter many competitions, mainly due to time, cost, etc, but I do think it`s a worthwhile venture for any serious artist, and so I hope to enter more in the future. Carpe diem. The trick is knowing which ones to enter, and what to enter in them.  

This one got rejected for the Derwent Artprize, but if you so desire, you can vote for it over at the People`s Choice Award.  (The money would go nicely toward getting my own printing press!)  Here`s the link:


And this one, completely different subject matter, but also in coloured pencil, got through to the shortlist for the cover of the new Ken Bromley Art Supplies catalogue.  It was a very last minute decision to enter anything at all, but it paid off.  I still haven`t heard who the final winner is, but I was very pleased to just make it to the shortlist!

But perhaps the biggest shock was getting this one, Portrait in Blue, an oils on canvas,  through to the shortlist, (shortlist being the word of the moment), for the RUA`s (Royal Ulster Academy) 2014 exhibition at The Ulster Museum, Belfast.  I was expecting to read the words, "but on this occasion we regret to inform you" as happened on both my previous attempts, so when I realised I had passed the first hurdle, I was genuinely, pleasantly surprised.  I know so many other fantastic, super-talented artists in N. Ireland that didn`t make it through, that my joy has actually been marred a little by the bitter after taste of guilt.  Anyhow, now the painting in the flesh has to get the thumbs up from the jury, and be one of the-one-in-four paintings (their approximate statistics, not mine) of those shortlisted that finally makes it onto the wall, since wallspace is in short supply.  Fingers crossed, then.

Still, I would hate to be the one that has to choose between one artwork and the other.  Of course, in some instances, the decision is an easy one, but on others, the jury is out.


  1. Tough competition there Judith and I admire you for entering. I voted for you!

    1. Thank you Gina! Yep, my chances are slim....there are loads of entries: as far as I know, ALL the entries that didn`t get shortlisted! I actually got fed up browsing by page 22! Thanks for the vote :-)

  2. Anonymous04:32

    I love your art work !! It is refreshing , eye catching and so many other positive adjectives.
    You have a very personal technique and I adore it.

    Greetings from Italy Paolo !!

    1. Molto grazie, Paolo! I`d love to reply in Italian, ma he dimenticato tutto!! ??
      My Spanish and French are much better!! thanks for the nice comments, :-)