The last four high profile open shows I've entered have been met with the words "we regret" and "unfortunately". Thirty years on from a couple of degree course rejections, I still feel irritation reading those words. I'd offered what I thought were fine paintings, the best I could do; and a small group of people looked at them, assumed glum expressions, shook their heads and electronically elbowed the lot into the bin. The big difference now is that five minutes after reading the email, I had forgotten about it, happily painting more items to inflict on another solemn, compact cadre of bods next month. Apart from the few quid one has to fork out for the privilege of having your work assessed, there's little to loose and a lot to gain. This may sound like a moan but I have had work accepted, sold and shown. A few people even commission me to paint things for them. There are too many reasons to move on, to be optimistic, to paint and draw even more. Look for the small, simple things, they are usually free and always there.
These are the most recent four I presented for an open exhibition.
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