|Pondering by Suzi Zefting-Kuhn|
How satisfying is validation? Of late I find it very satisfying and a driving force to keep me at the easel. Now we all know that art exhibitions and the resultant judging of artwork entered into those exhibitions can be just plain subjective. Recently, a painting of mine, titled Pondering that had been entered in other exhibitions with no award, won Best in Show in the 2012 Women of the Finger Lakes Exhibition in Canandaigua, New York. I was informed that the three jurors of awards knew from the beginning of the jury process that my painting was to be Best in Show. You can imagine how that made me feel! I am still on cloud nine knowing that my painting made that kind of instant impact on three separate jurors! I received even more validation when the painting sold not moments after the Best in Show was announced.It was that painting’s time I guess.
The resulting driving force has been to get me working at the easel this past week more diligently and with purpose. I am constantly asking myself ‘how can I get this current painting up to the same level of accomplishment as Pondering? It also reassures me that perhaps if a portrait painting or a figurative painting manages to express a feeling or tells a story that it will speak to someone else and not just me. Portraits and figurative paintings have been my favorite topic but sales have been slow to non existent. After all how many people want to have a portrait hanging in their home of someone they don’t know? If it manages to speak emotion and beauty and wonder I believe it now can attract a buyer. So I move forward with those intentions in mind when I stand before my easel.
I am in the process of organizing my notes from the 2012 Portrait Society of America Conference, May 24-27th. Beginning next week I will post my notes and some photos for those of you who were unable to attend. I would love to share what I learned with you.
Hi Suzi! I so agree with your thoughts! It is always a wonder when the same painting is ignored in one show and wins in another. We all chalk it up to the view of the judge but it does engender so many doubts.
I also wonder if persuing portraits, other than commissions, is worthwhile. Like you, I wonder who would want a painting of a stranger. But often those are the best paintings because of the mood and emotions they express.
Your paintings are so beautiful! They are all just waiting for the right buyer to see them! Soldier on!
Hi Jan! Thanks for your comments. It is tough to sell our portrait and figurative work so I think the key is to find a way to elicit an emotional response to the piece and hopefully someone will connect with it.
Hi Suzi 🙂
Sending another big congratulations on your award and sale! We're very proud of you!
Love you lots,
Mom, Bill, BJ, Ben, Brandt, Biskitt and Izzi