Hello All!  Below is a painting I did of 2 wood ducks, done in acrylics.  This painting was done for a major waterfowl competition.

I thought the painting came out OK, so did all of my friends, however - I never even got a glance, much less a 'nod' from one single judge!

I'd love to hear from other members of TAC as to "what I did wrong" with this painting and what I could have done differently, in terms of getting the judges' attention!  

thanks,
Jenifer 

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Oh, I forgot to mention:  The painting is 7" X 10".  A very small painting.

I think its beautiful. Did you find out results today or do you have to wait?

Actually Christina, I found out the results last October of 2011! I've just been late in posting it here.  Thank you, by the way!

They are just haters :) i think it is wonderful and beautifully detailed

thank you, Skylar!  Actually, it's a very, very stiff competition, it's called "the federal duck stamp contest".  Attached is the link to all the entries.  My entry was #123.  The winner was #103, second place went to #117, and 3rd place was #60.

http://www.outdoorsweekly.com/assets/FederalDuckStampExport2011/ind...

The winning entry got placed onto a 'stamp', that is used for hunting licenses.  It's also a collector's item.

Jenifer, I think it is beautiful and shame on them for not agreeing!! You did a marvelous job.  I will share with you some advice and a quote I learned a long time ago, when I first began painting: "Self doubt will kill your talent."  I tell my beginner students, there will always be people who love what you do and others who won't no matter what you do, so paint for the ones in the middle. Seriously, be proud of your work and don't ever let anyone take that away from you. Some may be able to do it better, but the vast majority will never be able to do it as well as you. I tell myself, I am a better artist that I was this time last year and not as good as I will be next year and I keep on trying to improve. I paint for me and no one is as critical of my work as I am, so there you go. Do the best you can do at the time and don't worry about the world. You will never satisfy everyone, so satisfy yourself. Your work is outstanding and a lifelong learning process. I wish you continued success and much happiness.

I entered a painting in one competition, and it got in, but didn't  win anything.  I entered it in a different competition and it won best of show.  You can't tell what a judge will like.  It doesn't mean your work isn't good.

Jenifer, your bird paintings are incredible. Please don't let this negatively influence your creatitivity, which is stunning. I think this event would have challenged me further! Sometimes I think that the judging can often be political.

Sharon,

that's what people have said about this particular competition, the Federal Duck Stamp contest.  The winning artist can expect to earn sometimes a million dollars (or close to it) due to winning this competition.  So yes, it's a very competitive thing.  I got pretty depressed when I didn't win, but then I thought things over and decided I had given it my best shot and couldn't do better than I did.  All I can do is hope to improve in future, by studying the winners and why they were chosen as winners.

Wow, Teri, GREAT advice!  THANK YOU! I need to start doing that.  I am VERY hard on myself.  What happens is that when I discourage myself, I stop painting, and that is the worst thing I can do to myself, because I never give myself a chance to get better at what I do.  Sometimes in the past, I stopped painting for years, literally because I have had such high expectations for myself.  You're one of the many reasons why I LOVE The Art Colony - it's people like you, and the great Thaneeya McArdle who truly are an inspiration for the rest of us!!

Teri Walker said:

Jenifer, I think it is beautiful and shame on them for not agreeing!! You did a marvelous job.  I will share with you some advice and a quote I learned a long time ago, when I first began painting: "Self doubt will kill your talent."  I tell my beginner students, there will always be people who love what you do and others who won't no matter what you do, so paint for the ones in the middle. Seriously, be proud of your work and don't ever let anyone take that away from you. Some may be able to do it better, but the vast majority will never be able to do it as well as you. I tell myself, I am a better artist that I was this time last year and not as good as I will be next year and I keep on trying to improve. I paint for me and no one is as critical of my work as I am, so there you go. Do the best you can do at the time and don't worry about the world. You will never satisfy everyone, so satisfy yourself. Your work is outstanding and a lifelong learning process. I wish you continued success and much happiness.

you are absolutely RIGHT, Patti - judges are different, indeed!  Wow, thanks for that bit of insight, "it doesn't mean your work isn't good."  Words like yours will help carry me through future competitions when I'm tempted to be too hard on myself all because of some judge's whim! THANK YOU!

Patti L. Kiegel said:

I entered a painting in one competition, and it got in, but didn't  win anything.  I entered it in a different competition and it won best of show.  You can't tell what a judge will like.  It doesn't mean your work isn't good.

Jenifer, if you look into the lives of artists who have been recognized for their work, you will find that they went thru a lot, and I mean, a LOT of rejection before they were ever accepted. Even Jesus said it's hard to be known in your own home town, lol.. My desire was always to "earn" the approval of my mother and at age 58, I have come to realize that I really don't need her approval, only my own. The creative process is a long journey, and full of anxiety and fear of failure. I tell my students, never fear failure because some of the world's greatest successes came about when the creator failed at the original plan. Failures are your greatest teachers. You learn more from making a mistake than you ever do by getting it right the first time. There is a great small book you need to read. It's called "The Fear of Creating Art." It will change your life. Best wishes.....

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