In the time we have been back in Colorado, we have made it a tradition to visit an area in Denver twice a year.
The original reason for this visit was that it is one of the few places in Colorado that has a specific restaurant that reminds us of where we called home for 30 years in California.
And so we make the treck to Cherry Creek at Christmas time (to look at the decorations, do a little shopping and eat lunch in that restaurant) and around the 4th of July when they hold a nationally known arts festival (and of course eat lunch in that restaurant!)
This year this trip had even more importance to me than usual. I had applied to the show this year -- and been turned down -- and I really wanted to take a good look at who my "competition" was.
For those of you who are not familiar with how this process works, when you apply to an Art show, you must submit photos of your work -- usually between 3 and 6 pictures -- and the "jury" (love the sound of that -- are you "guilty?" or not) determines from those few pictures rather or not you will have the opportunity to display and sell your work on the street for 3 days. (Oh yeah, and they charge you a fee to "judge" you)
Without sounding too much like I'm bragging, I'd like to say that I've concluded that my work is good enough to compete with the people that were judged "good enough". No one else in the entire show is doing what I do with the same materials, and my craftsmanship is absolutely as good.
The question then is, "so why didn't I get in?". And I believe the answer is that my photographs are not good enough.
These are the pictures I have taken of 5 of our pieces.
These are scans of the pictures of work from the artists that got in to the show.
One of these artists was willing to share with me who does her photographs. In fact, she gave me her card, wrote the photographer's name on the back and told me to tell him she sent me.
So, before we are again sending in applications to this kind of show, I will be trying to find out how much it will cost us to have this guy photograph a few of our pieces.
Meantime, I came away from the show with some ideas for some designs that are quite different that the last few pieces (which are of course quite different from what I was doing a year ago, or two years ago).
I also decided that I'm making myself a little crazy by working on things that are for sale 24/7. Hence forth I'm going to try to set aside one day a week to "play".
On "play" days, I will experiment with new materials, try different things and in general try to step away from the part of my art that I attempt to make a living from and enjoy different things.
I encourage all of you to try this too!