Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mini Victories

Soho No. 5 24x24 2008

An artist's life, it seems, is made up of occasional "mini-victories". These victories sometimes seem far and few between. But when we have them, they are sweet. I was thinking about this today, while "talking" to a fellow artist about disappointments. (I correspond with all of my artist friends online - one of the joys of living in a small town...there's no one who thinks like me for MILES.) My friend, Lisa, was extremely upset about not making it into a festival that she has been in for the last three years. She was really counting on it - and the potential sales it would bring. It is particularly rough when you expect a victory and then it doesn't happen. It is so hard to have no control over this particular aspect of our careers. Jurors are unpredictable. Work that seems very strong as you are creating it, gets waved away with a simple X beside the UNACCEPTED box. UGH! I have to take breaks from entering juried shows sometimes. They can be real confidence killers. On the flip side, when we reach for "impossible" goals and the X is by the ACCEPTED box. WOW! I knew when I painted Soho no.5 that is was fresh, spontaneous, and a nice little painting. But when it was accepted into the S.C. State Museum's 20th Anniversary show - only then was the wow! Victory! When my new gallery, Ellis-Nicholson in Charleston invited me in - victory! It makes all of those rejection letters from the other galleries and the "thanks for applying - try again." cards from juried shows - sting a little less. So- the trick is - learning to accept defeat, without letting it break you and bracing for the next little victory. I save all of the cards.... no matter where the "X" lies. It let's me know how far I've come - and keeps me on my toes.

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