Almost But Not Quite . Mixed Media, Paper mounted on wood. 11 x 14.

Almost But Not Quite. Mixed Media, Paper mounted on wood. 11 x 14.

Ouch. That hurt. Another art jury rejection. It’s like cutting yourself in the kitchen. At first, you look down and see the skin opened and the blood start to seep, but there’s a delay before the pain starts to register. Then there’s more pain, then it reaches another level, then you have to sit down with a bloody towel wrapped around your finger and wait it out for a bit.

I’m at the sitting down part. I'm sitting in it and wondering what it means and what it can tell me. Luckily there's no blood.

Does it mean I’m a bad artist? I hope not. It helps that I know other, really great artists who have been rejected by this particular jury. It hurts because I'm pretty sure it means I’m a mediocre artist. No one aspires to mediocrity.  I’m hoping that it means I’m just not quite cooked yet. On the verge of 55 years of age (the last 20 of which include any art experience), I still have work to do. That I can swallow and use.

Not one hour after I read the email with that rejection, I got news of a sale of another one of my pieces – the fifth sale this month (if you count prints).

Art is subjective, you guys. The Chief tells me art is a glass cage of emotion because he likes to quote Anchorman. And who doesn’t? Time to bring out the Band-Aids and get back in the studio.


I finished the above painting this last week. The fact that I mounted it on a wooden cradle board means that I like it. Abstract painting is even more subjective than representational art. It tends to get "my kid can paint that" remarks, but I've learned that good abstract or expressionist painting can be just as difficult to get right. To me, this piece depicts an attempt at creating a peaceful, ordered balance within a messy world.

Peace be with you.