Sunday, February 24, 2013


Week 3 of my blog slacker-dom, and no end in sight.
I'll admit it's been fun going back and re-reading some of my early posts.
A few more of my "best of's" :
 Welcoming Success 

 Brain Mapping  Oh man, this brought back good memories.

Passionate Repose  I really like this one too.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Best Of

I'm still on sabbatical - from blogging, not from painting:

©2013 Patricia Scarborough 14 x 16 oil

A few more from my "best of" list :

Oh, and by the way, a shout out to a terrific teacher, and really good friend - Happy Birthday Deb!!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Time Out

Greetings my sweeties – 

After 4-plus years of weekly blogging it is time for a sabbatical.  I’ll still be painting, but the urge to post weekly has been waning and it’s time to give it some space.  Other folks I admire have taken time away from their blogs without causing the earth to spin out of its orbit, so I feel safe in taking time away as well.

Taking some time away...

After perusing over 250 posts I’m really pleased to see that I’ve written some pretty good stuff.  For the next few weeks (months?) I’ll dole out my favorites a few at a time so do stop back for fresh reading now and then.

It’s interesting to note that my “Best Of’s” are not necessarily about art at all. Hm. (Sheila, that one’s for you.) 

By the way, I'll still be sending out a newsletter every 6 weeks or so (okay, maybe every 2 months). If you'd like to stay in touch, sign up here. Remember to add me to your contact list so they don't get stuck in your spam folder.

Until next time ...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Name of the Game

As I mentioned in my last post, ‘tis the season for juried art exhibits. Those of us who have entered these events have a variety of tales to tell, like ghost stories whispered around a campfire.

My original intent for this post was to share a few of those stories, to reveal what actually happens when artists are ushered out of the gallery and the judge is left alone to pick the artwork they believe deserves notice. I was going to share the honest to goodness truth: the judge who evaluated over 200 pieces of artwork in the span of just a few minutes; committees who create such convoluted rules and guidelines that there can be no such thing as “Best Of”; artists who chose their winners based on favorite colors.

Oh, I’ve got stories! And in all fairness I was also going to share positive observations of judges who agonized over their choices, and responded with intelligence and compassion. 

However, what occurs to me after spending entirely too much time on memory lane howling with indignation, delight and laughter at these anecdotes is this: it is not whether you win a ribbon or not, or even whether you get in the show.  

The issue is not what happens – or doesn’t happen. The issue is how we react to what happens. 
My own personal stack of rejection letters - ouch!

When you enter the world of competitive exhibiting of any nature, you accept another person’s opinion of the value of your work.  

Let me say that again: you agree to accept another person’s opinion of the value of your work. Not of you yourself personally, your work; your sculpture or your car or your dance step.  That’s part of the bargain.

If you don’t fare well you can choose to focus on the weakness or the lack of talent or the obvious favoritism of the judge – or you can learn from the situation. I’m not thinking of the How-To-Get-Into-Art-Shows kind of solution. I’m thinking more along the lines of personal inquiry:  why does it bother me so much? What do I hope to get out of this?  How much weight do I give this win/loss? How important is this really?

Painful as it is, losing can be more instructional than winning. Evaluating yourself and your art will lead to more growth than will polishing a trophy – or blaming someone’s poor taste.

So what’s the conclusion of all this?

 Elevating your game is important, and part of that is finding a way to challenge your belief in yourself and your self-imposed limits. Exhibiting your creative work in an environment in which you open yourself to criticism is tough but educational, if you can take it. Accepting the realities of each particular scenario is another piece. Selection committees and judges are people complete with all their quirks and oddities. That is a fact.

It’s up to each of us to decide how important that game is. You get to decide how often, or even whether, you play.

So, what’s your game?