|FIRST EDIT FOR ART WALK (Designer Nest collage painting at top is available|
I recently submitted to and was accepted for the largest and most well attended exhibition in my geographic area. Yay! Submission is an important part of an artistic career, and can be very challenging. Here is how I did it, so perhaps you can pick up some tips.
PREPARING FOR SUBMISSION
A few years ago I joined the daily painting movement, at the time I was struggling to complete a painting a month, but I knew that in order to improve I had pick up momentum and aim for a minimum of 100 paintings a year. In the beginning it was tough, but I did what many daily painters do, which is learn to paint small. Therefore, when the time came to assemble this submission, I was in the enviable position of having over 500 recent paintings to choose from. There is a down side to that though, the tyranny of choice. Here's what I did.
1. First I assembled a list of my favourite paintings and included all the paintings which I had sold (over 100 last year alone and I went back four years).
2. Then I sifted through them and whittled it down to about 100 paintings, then reduced it to 50 by comparing in groups and choosing first and second flight paintings. This can be done in your lounge or as I did on the computer.
3. Select the final 10 paintings.
4. Create Artist Statement (google this to get advice).
5. Complete forms, check and triple check to make sure everything is done.
#3 was the most difficult part of the submission because unfortunately, creating a painting each day forces an artist to constantly stretch and experiment to stand out in the crowd. This doesn't necessarily lead to a recognizable style and certainly not consistency in subject matter. The way I dealt with this was by looking for purchasing trends, counting the number of my sales in each genre. I also studied the praise I had received from patrons and fellow artists on social media (I keep these in a file when I receive them).
Although it wasn't a major difference, it emerged that my most popular paintings involved water and animals. I then returned to my list of 50 paintings and selected all the water and animal paintings. I also selected one favourite abstract and one favourite collage because the criteria was that you could only include different types of work if they had been juried. I wanted the option to include different media in the final exhibition.
The collage of paintings at the top of this blog was my first selection. Eight out of nine of these paintings are sold, however, some are available in limited edition prints on my website here. I then let the images sit for a while and worked on my Artist statement, pricing and completing the forms. I keep bios and statements from previous submissions on file, so this was just a matter of cut and paste for me, but you can google it for help.
After a few weeks of contemplation I removed TUNNEL VISION, BEAUTIFUL EYES and TOWN MOUSE from my selection and added BERT QUAIL (available), JACK and LUMINOUS BREAKER to show more consistency of style and subject. LADY IN SILVER AND RED (available) was added to show my collages, WHITE I (available) to show my abstracts and a nod to the "Step Forward"Art Walk theme, was the addition of WESTWOOD HO (available). Although some of my later additions have not yet sold because they are quite new, I felt they were important to keep the option for collage, abstract and fashion open.
13050 - Jack *
13060 - Paws *
13103 - Luminous Wave *
13118 - Spring Reflections OSWOA *
13198 - Lowland Beach ACEO *
13221 - Tropical Leaf Drop ACEO *
13230 - Designer Nest
13240 - Little Red Boat ACEO *
14079 - White I
14087 - Lady in Silver and Red
14097 - Bert Quail
14107 - Westwood Ho
I let this sit for another couple of weeks and also created a reserve list to choose from if I had a change of heart. This will also act as a list to work from when I hang the exhibition. Call me crazy, but I have a solo exhibition, Art Walk and an Art Bazaar running at the same time in September, so these lists will come in handy for those as well.
Reserve 00004 - Japan
Reserve 12034 - Calla
Reserve 12105 - Sunny Glade *
Reserve 13016 - Sea Foam ACEO*
Reserve 13029 - Organdy *
Reserve 13103 - Luminous Breaker *
Reserve 13108 - Beautiful Eyes
Reserve 13127 - River Reflections ACEO
Reserve 13138 - Tunnel Vision ACEO
Reserve 13235 - Blowing in the Wind
Reserve 13272 - Doris Duck
Reserve 14008 - Three Lupines ACEO
Reserve 14108 - Windswept Bay