Sometimes we decide not to enter a competition because there is absolutely no chance we can win, place or show. But is winning the real or only reason to enter? Maybe it's an incentive to enter, but there are a myriad of better reasons to enter, to put your work out there.
"Claim Your Rival" is one good argument offered by Robert Genn's recent newsletter (his family has taken over many of the writing chores). Sara writes, "Study the processes and methods of those who are better at it than you."
My personal reason to enter a competition is Comparison. My very first instruction in drawing was "where is this in relation to this." I carry that over into that scarey world of competitions: "where is my work in relation to others." Is my work equal to that of my peers? And I have to be honest with myself, and make that comparison to those artists whose standard of excellence I am striving to achieve, whose work I admire.
What great technique or composition do I see in the painting next to mine that I can attempt in my next painting, adapt to my own style. What can I improve? Why does that painting across the room pull so many people toward it? Side by side, being in the same setting, I can compare my work and actually SEE how far I've got to go, what I need to do.
And what better way to see our work clearly and objectively than in the beautiful gallery style setting offered by Brazosport Art League for our PSST exhibition in February? Empty Easel published an article that sums everything up, Why Every Aspiring Artist Should Enter Juried Shows. Click and give it a read all the way down to the 4 points at the bottom. Then step up, register for Art of the Pastel 2014 and you won't be left out or left wondering "What If?"
PSST Blog is written by Carolyn Hancock