Sunday, July 20, 2008

Juried Art Show Critiques

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!


alcatmom said...

Well, I know nothing about art, I only know what I like and I have to say that grey background makes me say yuck. The picture is much better with the red.
I don't think photography and painting should be lumped together. Seems like apples and oranges to me. I love all your stuff, but especially the kitties.

Amy Lilley Designs said...

I love the rich colors of the background, however, the 'no background' does have the basket pop forward, however, I'm still partial to the richness of the painting as a whole and the beautiful detail in the corn. A far as photos and painting being judged's apples and oranges...two completely different art forms...but, that one is wide open for's all very subjective...yes?

Christy DeKoning said...

alcatmom, thanks for stopping in today with your comments. I played around quickly with a few neutral colors and realized that maybe a dark neutral - almost black - would be a dynamic change.
I'm so happy to read that you love my cat paintings. I enjoy painting them!

Christy DeKoning said...

Hi Amy - it's one of those paintings isn't it? I realize that if I only wanted to concentrate attention on the corn, then of course I should have used a neutral backdrop. But to me, this painting was about color. It makes me want to paint it again in the future and try making a few changes.
I'm enjoying seeing what others have to say about the different mediums being judged together. It's tough for smaller shows to have different categories, but at the same time, I wonder whether certain mediums have an advantage or disadvantage at mixed juried shows. Politics. That's what it all boils down to in this world.

Terry Banderas said...


Thanks for sharing the evaluators comments. Artwork is so personal it's not even funny. Individual egos play too big a part in the evaluations. I like your style. You have enough confidence in your abilities to understand that critiques are meant to help and are not neccessariy bad (or useful). I make money off my rejected art so I do not really care if it does not win a prize at an exhibit. No way should photography and paintings be in the same category. Keep in touch.

Amy Lilley Designs said...

ps. my blog is a perfect example...even tho I am in the 'Art' category, I do say up front that I will be posting my photographs as well...and I have thought about starting a second blog for the pics...but REALLY, I can just barely manage the, it can be a conflict of sorts!!!

And as for the 'P' word...don't even get me

Brent Perkins said...

Personally, I prefer the crimson background. Nice work.

Brent Perkins said...

Hey, Christy, may I add your link to my blog? Hope so. Thanks.