After a few attempts at getting accepted into open exhibitions, with a 30/70 success rate, I decided to avoid the expense and disappointment, and not bother with them. I broke that self-created rule earlier this year by entering and having accepted a painting into the RI annual exhibition. This meant a lot to me, as it's not an easy task, and I was even more pleased when it sold. A few weeks later, buoyed by my modest success, I entered and had two more paintings accepted for final judging in the prestigious Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, but with less success, rejected at the crucial stage. I'd have thought one of the two would have got through, I thought they were pretty good paintings, but on getting the elbow email immediately posted on Twitter a photo of the larger piece asking for offers, not for a moment believing anyone would want it. Four offers. Not quite another work on a wall at the Mall Galleries but a pretty good silver lining. The lesson here, if there is one, might be to paint because you want to, and paint for yourself, because someone, somewhere out there will like what you do.
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