What do Fellow Artists Have to Say About Art Competitions?

Artist Paula Holtzclaw

For Miles and Miles

So many good reasons to enter the PleinAir Salon Competition and/or art competitions in general. Being an artist is most often such a solitary profession. By entering competitions and shows, I feel more connected to the community of the art world and other artists. I enjoy viewing all of the art, and seeing what others are creating. If I am fortunate to have my work recognized, it certainly validates that perhaps my intention with that painting was successful.

I have always struggled with the word “competition”.  I have never felt that I was competing in any way against other artists or artwork, but rather just against myself. The desire is to challenge myself to continually improve.

These events are another way to have our work seen by collectors, galleries and the public. It is exciting, I enjoy the process and really find it quite fun!

Artist Amanda D’Agostino

Dogwood Reverie

“Get in the ring. Make them tell you no… because sometimes the answer is yes.”

John Caggiano painting of winter river
Artist John Caggiano headshot

Artist John Caggiano

Winter River

“Just do it as long as it is a prestigious event or plein air event. It is part of the business and you meet great people who become life long friends.”

Artist Peggy Immel

Storm Over Truchas

Entering a competition can be intimidating, but it is one of the best ways to learn how your work stacks up against that of other artists, especially if you enter often and can receive comments from the judges. Different judges will look for different things so a painting that doesn’t receive recognition by one judge may be the next judge’s favorite piece. In fact, even the same judge will have a slightly different opinion on any given day. A good mantra is “Enter your best work and enter early and enter often.””

Artist Deborah Chabrian

Empty Nest

Enter your best work, but do not be discouraged if it does not get in. If you believe in it, enter it again, as every judge has a different view of what is a winning painting. I have had several paintings that did not get into one show, only to receive an award in another show. I was once given some good advise from my very wise artist/teacher/friend Burt Silverman. He said “when you do not get in or win an award it tends to confirm your worst fears about your work, while when you win it affirms your positive thoughts about your work.” Either way do not let it change the way you think. Do not let a win go to your head, and do not let a loss discourage you. Above all else keep painting, and keep entering. You have to be in it to win it!”