Entries for the Watercolor Society of Oregon's fall show close tomorrow, which put pressure on me to review my inventory list to find those pieces which would meet the criteria of the show: (1) watercolor only (2) on paper, no yupo or other grounds (3) not painted in a workshop (4) not shown in a previous WSO show and (5) painted within the last two years. Since I'm not painting a lot of watercolor pieces on watercolor paper right now the list of qualifying paintings was fairly short. I'm allowed two entries. I came up with three possibilities. Two of these paintings have been submitted for a different show and were rejected. The third has not been offered previously.
I prepared all three digital images for entry, resizing them and renaming them to fit the show entry criteria. At that point I had to finally decide which two of the three to enter. Self-evaluation is always difficult for me. I am especially reluctant to offer works that have been refused by one juror for fear of a second rejection. Usually 2 rejections does it for me. By then the painting is getting "old" since the process often takes a few months and I may have newer, fresher work to offer.
I talked to my friend and instructor, Ruth Armitage, about this recently. After a year of rejections, offering what I felt were very good pieces, I was feeling a little discouraged. When should I "give up" on a painting? Ruth has experienced this cycle many times in her career. There is no set answer to this issue. Time and discouragement will take their toll on many wonderful pieces. We can't know what any particular juror is going to accept or reject except by watching the shows those jurors put together to see if they have obvious preferences, for instance for portraits or landscapes, or obvious prejudices, for instance against non-representational work.
With all this in mind, I decided to submit "Klamath Lake Lily III" and "Klamath Lake Lily IV", both poured watercolor, both well designed and well executed. The third piece, "Winter Solstice" would have been an excellent alternative but I felt the two lily paintings fit well together. The decision is made, the entry sent in. Wish me luck.