I was talking to afriend today when we got on the subject of how difficult it is to be objective about your own paintings. Especially, I think when we are new to painting. Both of us had talked about our paintings from five years ago or so. At the time, we thought they were really good and thought we should be able to get into more shows than we were accepted to. But, looking back, wow! Both of us felt that we really weren’t as good as we had thought. I think this is probably a universal thought.
In the last couple of years I have had a few paintings turned down from shows. When I went back to the paintings and revisited them, I realized the jurors were right. Sometimes, I had hurried the paintings to just submit something to the show. That never seems to work. Other times, I’ve had paintings I really knew weren’t there, but I tried to convince myself all was wonderful. Nope! I think I’m a little more realistic in my work than I was 5 years ago. Or, maybe I’ll find out five years from now that it’s just the same. I’m just at a different level with my painting.
Every six months or so, I go through my paintings. I always find some that I thought were good at the time I painted them. But, with distance and time, some just don’t make the cut. It is always a dilemma what to do with the paintings that don’t hit the mark. I don’t send them to galleries or shows. I seem to collect them. I suppose this is the same dilemma that all artists have.
Anyway, do you think you can be objective in critiquing your own work? Do you know what level your work is compared to colleagues? What do you do with those paintings that just don’t cut it?