May 28, 2016

What a Blessing that My Paintings Are Getting Recognition and Awards! But how Stressful Entering Shows! lol

I am so happy, I can barely believe it!

In the last few months I entered my paintings in a few judged exhibitions, and I have brought home several ribbons - which stand for awards received.

It's amazing to me!

Every time that I am deciding what to enter in a show I get attacked by hundreds of self-doubting dilemmas, and usually I ponder not entering at all.

"54 S. High St." by Robie Benve. I was very nervous about this painting, done at the Dublin Paint Out, on a cold and rainy day, while I was very busy being the chair of the event. I was also intimidated by the caliber of the other artists that participated. Yet, I got an Honorable Mention award. :D So grateful!

What if my work is the worst of the show? What if it's hung next of a wonderfully executed piece and all the flaws are even more evident?

When it comes to expose my work to the public viewing, I become hyper sensitive.
I look at pieces that I enjoyed painting and see things that I could have done differently. Better.
I look at paintings that I thought were some of my best, and I suddenly see flaws and weaknesses.

Here is a painting from another show that is up right now. I entered this show as new member of an art league whose members have been painting for decades, and I was quite nervous about the first impression that they would get from this newbie (me). When I went to see the show hung, this painting had a ribbon for third place and three more of my paintings got a Honorable Mention Awards! What a wonderful surprise! :D - "Much Needed" by Robie Benve.

I loved making this painting, starting from the beautiful reference photo throughout the painting process. Then, when it was time to enter the DAAL fall show last November, I got cold feet and started doubting the composition and the execution. I could see many things that could be done differently. Was it a good idea to enter it?
Then it got Third Place award! Often it's all in my had. - "Glimpse" by Robie Benve.

It has been said millions of times, and I am going to repeat it here:
We are our own worst critics.

Painting is a personal experience. It's a process that brings us in touch with our inner self.
Having strangers evaluate the outcome of that process, without having been there, without having walked the walk and seen the inner view, suddenly makes me look at the painting differently.
How does it look to the outsider?
Certainly it can't be good.
Oh my gosh, would it be better if I did not enter this show?

Usually I try to embrace the "Fake it till you make it" mode, and submit my entry form despite the doubts.

Sometimes, when the planets align and the blessings fall from the sky, I get a ribbon.

And so I think:
"Oh, it wasn't that bad after all. Maybe my first impression was good, when I thought it was a decent painting."
"Maybe the love I put into those brushstrokes does show and speak to the viewer somehow."

And all is well again. Self-confidence is (temporarily) back.

Until it's time to enter the next show... ahah

"Shine Your Light" got an Honorable Mention at the DAAL Spring show, with a very nice comment from the judge.

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