Painting at Wenaha Gallery, Shows and Advice…

visit to Dayton’s Wenaha Gallery on Saturday to participate in their Christmas in July event. It’s a little unusual to be listening to Christmas carols while standing at an easel in a gallery in 100 degree weather painting! But that what we did. The gallery owners and staff decided to have some fun and do a special day of Christmas in July, inviting three artists to come to the gallery and work on a piece or just “be” there. I set up my easel and painted a couple of small landscapes of the Joseph, OR area that I have been wanting to complete. Although it was pretty warm, we enjoyed the conversations with the other artists and customers coming to the gallery. I had a nice conversation with a couple from the TriCities. Both painted; both want to get into galleries, but it sounds like they have been rejected or have not had any luck at showing their work. Now I have no idea what sort of work they do, but I just have to say this…everyone needs encouragement in their art…we are all busy, busy…but it just doesn’t take much time to give some encouragement or direct someone to a show space that might hang their work or be frank and suggest some classes. My words of wisdom were…keep painting…take some classes that interest you and learn some good solid technique and if you feel you have work good enough to show some place, here are some suggestions. I shared that you do have to have some callous because rejection is a big thing in the art world. I never enter a juried show with a pre-conceived idea that I have the “best of show” piece…I shared my recent story of rejection…I had two decent paintings accepted into the NW Pastel Society show in April. It was a good strong show and I was happy that these particular ones were accepted. So another regional show comes along and I think these pieces would be worthy of that show. Well, NEITHER was accepted! So there you go. We had a little chuckle out of it and I took the rejects” home. One has since sold. It’s about a subjective opinion for shows and for galleries. Just because a gallery or venue doesn’t accept your work is not necessarily that it is poor of quality; maybe it just doesn’t fit their style…So I hopefully answered the above couple’s pastel questions in a helpful way that encouraged rather than discouraged.
And the two pieces I was working on…they turned out fine. I believe them to be saleable and solid pieces…if they never sell; be watching what’s under your Christmas tree 🙂


About bonnie griffith

I am a landscape artist who works in pastels, oils and acrylics. My work focuses on representational studies of the western US. I am basically self taught with lots of workshops and studies with several landscape artists such as Bruce Haughey and Clark Elster. I live in southwestern Idaho, am a native Montanan with a strong connection to the land. I spend as much time as I can in MT painting as well other parts of the northwest. I appreciate getting out in the field and working plein air because there is nothing like completing a painting in the true light of day and visually not being compromised by the use of a photo. In my work, my goal is to produce a piece of work that draws the viewer into the painting and challenges them to explore the scene; get a sense of the time of day, the temperature, the light or lack of. If I have gotten that viewer to step out of their reality and into that painting and enjoy it, then my work was accomplished as I wished. View all posts by bonnie griffith

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