…Sports metaphors do not apply to Art.  I make art.  I seldom watch (or play) sports, unless a blood relative is kicking around a soccer ball with me, or I’m watching kid-pitch baseball.  One reason I was attracted to making art from the sweet age of eight, was because of the magic moment of getting totally sucked into the creative process.  It did not require a “team”.

For other kids my age, maybe it was connecting the bat to the ball at just the right moment, and watching the crowd go wild with excitement, that drew them to sports.  Making art, rarely has anything to do with an immediate public reaction, but instead, takes one on a journey into the inner self, through play, research and obsession.  The process is its own reward.

     The reward is there until the day you decide to put your stuff out for others to see, react to, and possibly not in the way you desire.  Entering a juried exhibition is a risk that many artists prefer not to take.  What If???...IT does not get accepted?

   Over the years, I’ve learned that it can be an emotional experience to have a piece that you’ve nurtured like a new baby be rejected. HOURS spent sketching, thinking, pushing around paint. Why Did They Not Accept It? One’s critical eye and over-active imagination could easily propel one into a wrestling match with inner gremlins.

   But, what if, instead of roiling in a self-induced state of despair, one relies on others (did I say “the team”) for an objective critique? If you can be willing to look at something with a fresh eye, and listen to comments, whether or not you agree with them, if might send you back to the easel or workbench with a newfound determination to work through the  “loss.”  Ask more questions, look more deeply; try new ideas, and maybe the “loss” will be turned into a “win”.   The  “win”, ultimately is very subjective, and can’t be measured in points, goals, or public reaction.  Now…on to the new canvas.

Sherry Houpt
Member, Art Hotel Artists Collective

Jacque Forsher
2/9/2012 11:15:45 pm

Way to 'score' with encouraging words, Sherry. I'm sure all artists can relate. Homerun!

Sherry Houpt
2/10/2012 05:21:43 am

Thanks, Jacque! I love being on the Co-Op Art Team!

Julia McLain
2/25/2012 12:48:32 am

What a great article Sherry. I have learned that the people who do not react favorably to your art would probably be an artist that you would not feel a a natural admiration of either so if we come to understand this...we feel much better with rejection. Also art is an inward journey (as you say) and the same person that might love one of your pieces, might react negatively to another one you do having not had the same positive experiences. Art reactions are so unexpected!


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