Last night was the Opening Night party for the Ridgetown Juried Art Show. I had a blast - it was a wonderful experience following the judges around and listening to their critiques and comments.
Did I win anything? No. Did I walk away a winner? Yes.
There were 2 Jurors at the show to answer questions, and the funny thing was that I received contradictory critiques from both! One juror asked me where I was going with the bold crimson background - he questioned my reasons for choosing the color (say, over neutral for example) because the centerpiece is of course, the corn. I asked him if he felt it was competing for attention and he sort of hmmmed and nodded. He liked the rest of the painting and thought it was very strong. When asked how I developed the setting, I explained how I had brought the corn outside in a basket and painted plein air, creating a value sketch before taking some photos and moving inside to work on details. He complimented me on my style and said my methods showed a lot of experience and character.
It made me think about the background - was it too dramatic? Did it steal the scene? Why did I choose to paint it that way? And of course it all came down to one thing: COLOR! I really WANTED to choose a complementary color to the green, and a neutral background would not have given me the satisfaction and punch that the red did (see the quick & sketchy photoshop neutral fix I gave it). So I'm still happy with my choices.
Then Juror #2 arrived and said this:
"I chose your painting. When I look at art, I ask myself 3 questions:
Does it make me smile?
Does it have strong color?
Would I want to hang this on my wall?
And I answered yes to all three for yours."
He also then went on to say (without any prompting from me) "I love the background".
So there you have it. There's no accounting for taste right?
I also received a lot of positive vibes & comments from the guests that were enjoying the food, wine and live entertainment. All in all, a very good experience for me. I was able to take the critiques and come home thinking about what I want to paint next - motivated and excited to take what I learned and put it into action. Oh, yeah, and I also learned that if you want first place you need to paint great big huge canvases with mixed media and textures, with political undertones! So that might not be me in this lifetime.
Incidentally - a photograph won second place, which opens up a question for me to ask you when you comment:
"How do you feel about paintings and photography being juried under the same category?"
I'd love to read what you have to say!