20 Jul 2015

Call For Entries

How many times have I paused for thought after reading those words in art magazines, and now more commonly, in Facebook posts, etc? Lately, I have decided to enter more competitons or calls for entry to exhibitions. It is a gamble, it costs a lot of money, and the fear of rejection is ever present, but if an artist wants to gain greater exposure, or a bigger audience for selling their work, then he or she needs to have quite a few eggs in quite a few baskets. 

 The problem I face is I live on an island :/ 

The biggest and probably most sought after show in Northern Ireland is the RUA`s annual exhbition. I am pleased to report that I have again been shortlisted for this year`s after getting accepted last year and being fortunate enough to have my piece sell on the opening night.  But being true to my rather unconfident self, I am not very happy with my offering for this year, but hadn`t time to finish other new work, and work previously exhibited here was inadmissible, so... I feel I rushed it, but to my great surprise, it got accepted, at least, it passed the first stage.  And I should probably try for some in the south of Ireland, especially since I am now in a really good Dublin gallery called The Doorway Gallery, but like everything else, I just haven`t gotten round to it yet....maybe next year!

But whether us islanders like it or not, we really want (and need, probably) to try across the Channel, and that for us is even more expensive.  We can`t just fly over or hop on the ferry every time we want to enter a painting in some exhibition or other, so we have to use carriers, or even Royal Mail, (and keep our fingers crossed).  Financially, it`s no picnic.  Artists aren`t exactly on the top of the pay roll, (unless we make installation art masterpieces of our unmade beds, dare I write this?) and entering competitions is expensive and with absolutely no guarantee of any return.  But as Gatsby would say,
"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

On the one hand, we would all like to make it, whatever that means, but on the other, entering work in these sorts of exhibitions makes us even more vulnerable, open for criticism, judgement, and art is a highly personal matter.  I think developing a thick skin is an essential requirement for anyone in the visual arts.  Let`s face it, you aren`t going to please everyone, nor should you try. 

 White Tulips Remind me of You,
watercolour, and other waterbased media on paper,
56 x 76 cms

So this one didn`t make it in my first attempt at entering The Sunday Times Watercolour competition this year, but I like it, and for anyone who knows how hard I am on myself, that says a lot!  I think as long as the artist likes his or her own work, then basically that`s what matters. Be true to yourself, and don`t fall into tthe trap of trying to make everyone else happy.  

So, I have entered it into Artists & Illustrators Artist of The Year 2015, along with a few others, and since I am a member of their Portfolio Plus, at least this one was free, so to speak.  But it may not get accepted, in fact the statistics are against me, but rejection is part of life, and actually, something I think our younger generation need to be taught to weather better. Not everyone can win at Sports`Day, not everyone can play the leading role in the school play, not every child will be able to play the trumpet, the violin, be great at rugby or football and get 90% in their tests.  Ok, so I am getting a bit sidetracked here, but my point is, we are all different, and nobody can be ourselves like we can.  And if one artist gets accepted into a competition, good for them, and if I don`t, or you don`t, well, we can always try again.  I think accepting other`s successes as well as our own (and the times we don`t succeed), is a crucial part of growing up and growing, and something we all need to work at, if we were only a bit more honest about it.


  1. I love your work and in my humble opinion I think it should be excepted anywhere you choose to enter it. Good Luck with your latest entry.

  2. I guess you've got to be in it to win it. Wishing you luck. Your work is lovely.

  3. Lovely work !you've used the pastel colors very efficiently ,her flawless skin tone and deep eyes shows your calibre....good luck

  4. Beautiful work. Very dreamy and surrealistic.