Sunday, November 9, 2014

Why I don't enter on-line contests (and an old painting!)

48  F  some sun, some clouds.
This is a view of Mt. Anthony from the Bennington College campus, It was painted in the spring of 1980 (I think).

   I'm leading this blog post with this photo because, why not! I've had it kicking around for thirty five years, and so often wondered why I wasn't painting, so yeah, I was 17 years old when I painted it......

    Why I don't enter on-line contests:

   I have very limited time and money,  first priority is my family. My wife works full time plus, and I have two school aged daughters that dance and play soccer: my whole schedule revolves around them. Next is painting, but not just painting, preparing, getting supplies, taking photos, sending out  jpegs, and the actual work, etc.... after that I've got a litany of other tasks we could call my previous life, but it's not fully previous, yet....

    I have to use my resources wisely & I don't play the lottery. I want real people to see my work, in real, brick and mortar places, and I want to stay within an hour's drive of my home.  I might actually want to meet these same people, (even though I'm not a very social person).  I will pay entry fees and send out jpegs for juried shows that meet the above criteria. But there are a lot of "National" juried shows I don't touch, and the on-line contests, not with a ten foot pole! why: it's a total waste of time and money. I think a lot of what I see coming out of those shows is way over cooked and sugar-coated. The fees are high and my time to deal with it is limited. (I mean I'm blogging now....)

    I'm confident in my work and the progress I'm making. So far I've done cafe's City Hall, non-profit spaces and fund raising events. I'm represented in one commercial gallery that I like, and I have this blog and you, my faithful reader.  I'm working on slowly expanding my geographic area with shows and galleries.  I live in a rural in upstate NY, but I'm not far from Saratoga and Albany, NY, Manchester and Bennington, VT, and Williamstown, MA . all these places have galleries, both commercial and non-profit that I'd like to show in, and there not too far.

    My organizational skills are limited at best and it seems that marketing is based on this skill,  I wear boots everyday, and sometimes it feels like I'm at camp when I'm not. I don't need to pay anyone to tell me I'm un-organized and "should" be doing something else, or something differently, I know that already!  Just this month I've had two un-solicited invitations to exhibit work, one very local, the other within my region, I felt very honored to be asked!  They are not prestigious nor will they guarantee sales, but they will give me the expanded opportunity to show my work to my neighbors and colleagues, and as Tip O'Neil said all politics are local, and my work is local, so I will be a local, and it will be good.

    Someday I may be able to market my work or pay for some help, I may change my mind and enter some of these "National" shows, but for now I really think there are more and better opportunities out there that are well worth the time and effort, and that don't take my money faster than a click of the mouse.