Monday, November 3, 2008

Keep Painting


Make art because you love it. Paint because you must. Don't worry about rejection. It doesn't have anything to do at all with that moment...that moment when you smile, calmly satisfied, after struggling with hue, composition, contrast.

Not a thing.

One of my favorite artists, Grace Hartigan, said, "I cannot expect even my own art to provide all of the answers---only to hope it keeps asking the right questions."

I got an email notice today from the National Portrait Gallery that my submission was rejected. I had submitted the self portrait that can be seen further down the page (She Learned Obedience Suffering). It was good participating and I'm looking forward to seeing the paintings that were chosen. It's a wonderful exhibit. Thank you to those who viewed my selections and gave me really good feedback. I might even try again next year. Les Brown wrote, "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars."



Journaling last night, I finally finished a small study of a place near San Simon, Arizona and Lordsburg, New Mexico. I snapped this photo while traveling to Silver City, New Mexico this last spring. The little bushes were so interesting. Easy to pass by at 85 miles an hour and not take any notice. But, being a shutterbug, I'll snap photos through the car window without even looking through the lens just to see what I catch. This is another caran d'ache, but this one is on watercolor paper. 8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

An exciting day tomorrow. I hope to work in the studio but may be too darn distracted. Wishing all artists a calm day.

One last quote that causes a chuckle each time I read it..."Whenever I have to choose between two evils, I always like to try the one I haven't tried before."--Mae West.

11 comments:

Edgar said...

Melinda -- you are the Wise Woman of the blogs! I do need to paint, regardless, so there's no point in sweating the applications. Love the t-shirt, and the quote from Grace Hartigan. (Funny, I spent hours, but I couldn't find that one on Wikipedia-- you must have deep sources!)

You have the talent and skill to do anything you want in art. The shows are just a means to an end: to be seen in 'other' places.

The neocolor II piece is cool -- such a different palette for you. Keep challenging your habits with these new choices, it really worked! BTW: Journaling as art is a particular form -- but if you did this on a stand alone sheet, is it still a journal entry?

Try to take Mae West's advice: choose between painting and being distracted...

Melinda said...

Edgar,
I am feeling a new freedom from submitting works and having a few of them accepted and most of them not. Rejection is having a lesser effect as I do more and more work. I'm also seeing that many really good artists experience the same thing--no reflection on talent, more like winning a draw or finding the right fit for a work.

Ha! on the Grace Hartigan quote. I used my "Cliff Notes" called The Artist's Way for the quotes. Glad you like them.

Well, as far as the journal technicality, I guess I think of it as journaling because it is my meditative time before sleep and the paper was next to my journal...

Glad you like the piece. It really is uncharacteristic of me. Okay, okay, I'll try to heed Ms. West's advice.

Karen said...

You've put so much in this one post...
1) I love the quotes
2) I _love_ the t-shirt...we all need one of these.
3)I'm sorry to hear about your rejection, but I'm glad you wrote about it, too. It reminds me that we all go through this. (I had a post where I wrote about this [back on 6/11/08], and I had found a link to the rejectioncollection.com which you have to check out. It's priceless). Sometimes we seem to go through it more than others.
4) The study you posted seems entirely appropriate...a clam step back, an overview, quite, pensive.

Indeed, keep painting!

Anonymous said...

Melinda- the T shirt is part of the message. After a long life in sales, and a particularly frustrating week, a wise person said to me " You know, every day is a good day for fishing, but not every day is a good day for catching".

I thought that summed it up very succinctly.

We keep painting, creating, blogging, it's enough to make the masses jealous!

Like you, I'm too fidgit-y today to paint.

Melinda said...

Thank you, Karen, for the post in your blog for June about rejection. So true. So true. I'd say on the rejection scale that I'm between #1and #2. However, I've been to #5 and believe that I've brushed up against a mythical #6 in the past. Your post was insightful!

The t-shirt is from Dinnerware Contemporary Arts. In partnership with the Tucson Museum of Art, Dinnerware has a show for all Arizona artists who have been rejected from the TMA's Arizona Biennial. The last one was in 2007. I thought their t-shirt idea was brilliant.

Melinda said...

Bonnieluria,
Oh, yeah. That's hitting it right on target..."not every day is a good day for catching". The t-shirt and the saying have deeper layers of meaning--Zen like, and comforting.

Hang in there!

loriann signori said...

Melinda, Thanks for all your wise words. You are so right. It is always nice to have your work noticed,..... but in reality, the fun is in the doing. So keep doing, your work is beautiful!
Happy painting,
Loriann
PS I love the shirt!

Anonymous said...

Oh, cool post! Wish I'd gotten here sooner. This must be the t-shirt we discussed. Tres chic. As a fellow rejectionee I should also be wearing that tee.

This landscape looks like the same terrain 10 miles from here. Coming back from our last vacation I did the same thing you did with the camera. I was just snapping at random without looking through the lens, to see what I'd catch. A lot of tumbleweeds.
Good job on the painting!

Melinda said...

Silvina,
That is so cool that you have also tried snapping photos from a moving vehicle. Seems risky, seems fun, but most of all a bit like fishing without any cleanin'.

Thank you for your comment. Wish I had an extra tee to send you. There is something really comforting about wearing it.

I would love to see a tumbleweed painting. Now, that sounds difficult!

kathrynlaw said...

Hi Melinda! I'm revisiting your blog for the first time in months, and this one really hit home. I'm so glad the Neocolors are being put to such good use! Your quotes are wonderful, and everything about your blog is uplifting. I had to stop and think, "now why was everyone fidgity last November?.. Oh yeah...!" Actually, everyone in Europe was too. After the election, there were HUGE parties and celebrations here in Italy.

Maybe once I get back to San Diego later in the year, I can make a field trip to Tucson for a painting outing.

Melinda said...

Hi Kathryn!
What a wonderful surprise. It's great to hear from you again. As you know, I think of you every time I use the Caran d'Ache.

I do hope you get a chance to visit and paint in Tucson sometime. Of course, November through March are the very best times--not too hot and, in March, beautiful light and wildflowers in the desert.

Oh, yes, a great celebration was had by all! We are all looking forward to a better future. I'm glad that Italy joined in.

If there is any way in which I can assist your travels, please don't hesitate to ask.