|Second Prize in PVAA Art Contest|
For me, it was a big step just to show my crafts and paintings on Etsy.com because what if you put your things up and nobody came? It happens. How often have we done something that we are so proud of and nobody else is? I'm afraid all to often. But as Scott Adams says, we learn from the failures, NOT the successes.
I have sold a few things on Etsy.com and have been given the opportunity to teach at the Las Vegas Painting Convention that was cut short by illness. It was the lack of Etsy sales and the desire to branch out to a wider physical audience that finally got me to join an artists association. I think it might have been a very good move.
I joined the Pomona Valley Artists Association in late October and nearly in the same breath brought paintings over to show in their Gallery SoHo. While it took some time to organize and decide what worked together and what didn't (it was amazing to see them laid out all together on the floor) it soon became apparent what DID work together. However, once on the wall, one painting just didn't seem to fit, another was inserted, and finally it worked.
I had just missed the monthly contest where anyone in the group can enter paintings for a set fee so when December rolled around I made sure I was there. I had a landscape of a Chinese village, a bird of paradise and WHITE FENCE, a painting that was finished on Thursday, framed on Friday and brought over Saturday. You can imagine my surprise when I turned up at the gallery to put my monthly 5 hours in to see my painting received 2nd place. Not bad for a neophyte.
The Gallery SoHo is in the basement of an old newspaper building. The gallery is nicely arranged and there is a variety of styles and artists to give you a wonderful cross section of art today. However, the location, into the lobby and down a flight of stairs in not the best. I was and am surprised when someone does show up and actually looks at everything we have to offer.
You want to be helpful but not cloying so the protocol seems to be a greeting at entrance, reminding them to ask if they have any questions and then to let them wander the gallery. We have a guest book and encourage them to sign in and leave either an address, home or email.
There is always room for improvement however, we have a problem with some walls that leak when it rains. So, at times, certain walls are not available for hanging.
If no one visits the gallery and you were alone, that time would be realllllllllllllly slow. It is quiet, still and lonely. You literally feel like your are in a dungeon. This day I was working with an experienced member, I am a trainee, so we chatted and I helped rearrange her place on the wall. Later on another couple arrived so we got to chat and the time went by faster.
I will continue to enter paintings because the judge is someone not part of the association and is never the same person. While you can never fathom what leads them to make certain choices, it is always pleasing to win something. Its just too bad that they don't leave comments for the artists. That would make the process better and give pointers to artists about what to improve and what to leave alone.