Friday, April 27, 2012

What gets into painting competitions?

I've heard a lot of ideas about this just recently, partly because a good portion of Judy Morris's workshop included seeing ALL of the most recent NWS and AWS paintings, projected and discussed.

Here's what has come up recently, from various artists who have jurying experience, including Carrie Burns Brown, Judy Morris, and Linda Baker. These notes comprise observations, personal preferences, and general guidelines:

  • Don't use Pink.
  • Don't bother entering Flower paintings. 
 Okay, already I see a problem here: those hibiscus, the tulips, the magnolia blossoms:  I like to paint flowers, and so many of the ones whose structures and shadows intrigue me are pink!  It's never been my favorite color, either, but I have, in the past, been pretty wedded to local color.
Going on . . .

  • Paintings with color chords dominated by blues and oranges are massively over represented in shows.
  • Jurors have 3 seconds to choose most paintings: they must be able to read it and get it's reason for existing fast. So subtleties are not useful.
What will I do about all this?  Well, for one thing, I'll stay open to subjects other than flowers,  I did paint people at one time, and cats. Maybe I'm in a rut.  For another thing, I am determined to research and plan better color designs into my paintings.  My 'exercise' painting for Judy's class pretty well left the local color behind, while using only a triad of cerulean, alizarin, and quin.burnt orange.       If I left out the alizarin . . hmmm. Leaves Blue and Orange. I guess that's the next challenge.

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