Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Some make it, some don't...

This has been a busy summer of preparing work for submission to one show or project or another. Submitting is always fussy and time-consuming and, at least for me, somewhat stressful. For one thing when you make something targeted at a particular show, with requirements and themes and such there is the anxiety of meeting all those requirements and making sure you haven't forgotten something key, like the prescribed size or how to prepare the rod pocket on the back, and of course you are second-guessing yourself all the way to the moment you actually proffer your submission.  "Will this really communicate the theme?,  Is this piece going to be so far out it just won't mix with any of the other entries? Will the juror be one of those that only likes one style, or hates words on art, or thinks commercial fabrics are unacceptable, or, or, or is this just horrible and stupid????" Rejection is hard to take, but it's part of the program. At the SAQA Conference this spring, Maria Shell, one of the speakers said she feels she is doing well if she has a 50% acceptance rate. I latched onto that number and, by her standard I have done OK this summer.

First the accepted:

The Rhythm of Rain

A Sense of Summer

Both of these pieces will be part of the High Fiber Diet "Making our Mark" show, which had the requirement of at least 75% neutral color and the inclusion of a common mark which will be hidden or in plain site in all included pieces. I was so happy with both of these pieces that I would have been  very disappointed if they were not chosen. Each really does express my take on mark-making and a cool, clean neutral color space.

The not accepted (I can't bring myself to use the word "rejected"):

Anne, Patron Saint of Grandmothers

This was a submission for a publishing project and a bit of a shot in the dark. I wasn't entirely sure it met the criteria and it was constructed in haste to meet the deadline. It's fine. I'm fine. It is small and will be good for other shows and/or sales.

"We are such stuff..."

My submission for the Oregon SAQA Show and frustrating in a variety of ways.  I made this specifically for this submission to the theme "Blending poetry and fiber" and stepped quite a bit out of my box here. It is a little bit of tribute to the artwork of Corita Kent and my years at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I hated making it. It was a total bitch to put together and stitch. Maybe that alone cursed it. It looks nothing like my other work, but I still have some fondness for it. I struggled physically and mentally with this one. I hoped it would find a place in the show, but never had a good feeling for that happening. From what I saw of what others were working on this seemed too graphic, too word-y, too......much. And I failed to have my piece accepted for the last Oregon SAQA show, so that is looming in my mind as a nut I have to crack! (Is that really a reason to make art? I don't think so.)

Right now I am working on things with no particular show or requirement in mind and it is such a pleasure! And I will be thinking about what succeeded and what didn't and especially the fact that what I really loved and engaged in was successful and the ones that I was less engaged with were not. There is a lesson there, if I can figure out how to make use of it.


  1. Congratulations on the first two getting in! I love words of any kind on fabric and am a big Shakespeare fan. I remember a post where you were working on that one and you said then how hard it was being for you. It will find a spot somewhere. I am sure. I remain in awe of all your work. Really.

  2. To me, that last paragraph is key.

  3. I LOVE the Patron Saint of Grandmothers. Very striking. And something tells me, if you are back to making what you love, then you've already found the payoff. But I love the honesty of your post.

  4. I don't like making pieces for themed shows. For me, it is much harder than just creating what I want. How big is the Rhythm of Rain piece?

    Your poetry piece is wonderfully graphic! I think you should sell it to a theater group and they can hang it in their lobby.

    1. Lisa, the Rhythm of Rain is 24" x 48"

    2. Wow. Bigger than I thought. I love it.

  5. Thank you for sharing both successes and 'not so successes'. It makes this process that we all go through a bit easier and a bit more real. Sometimes I like working towards themes and guidelines and sometimes they just create headaches.

  6. I loathe making themed pieces. My heart isn't in it and it shows. Like it best if I have an existing piece that can be made to fit the theme. Being "not chosen" hurts like heck, but having juried a couple of shows I now have a better perspective of the process. Your pieces are distinctive and special and will find a place in another show. I love that "Terry" made this look that you bring to your work.

  7. Congrats on the two that were accepted!

    I totally agree that submissions are stressful and time-consuming. A couple of times, I've put off doing the submission to the last day and then missed the deadline - I'm trying to submit earlier these days!

    I really appreciate when the decline notice includes the number of pieces submitted and the number accepted.

    I like making pieces for themed shows, but I also like making pieces just because I'm inspired. I have one piece I made specifically for a SAQA show that was not accepted, but it's been accepted to several other shows since then. You just never know what's going to appeal to a specific juror.

  8. Congrats on the pieces that got accepted! Your comment about your Shakespeare piece and the others that got into the show resonated with me. I use text fairly often in my work and continually struggle with trying to find a balance between text and pictorial/graphic/abstract elements, and with having text that looks interesting but remains legible. Do you know if the Oregon SAQA show is going to have any pictures of the accepted work online? I'd love to see it.

    I also feel like there are recognizable elements that feel like the rest of your work in that piece- the colors and background assembly, and little dots especially. Of course if something is miserable to make it's pretty hard to get rid of the yucky taste in your mouth about it.... Can't wait to see more of your new pieces.

  9. Congratulations that two beautiful pieces were accepted. I especially love A Sense of Summer. I am in awe of We Are Such Stuff. Much work and beautifully set. And yes, there are always lessons to be learned :)