I subscribe to a lot of art magazines, probably too many, but I love them. My favorites are Watercolor Artist, and AA Watercolor. I rarely read them from cover to cover but I do spot read articles that interest me and I always look at all the artwork. Someday one of my paintings will be in one of those magazines and maybe I’ll even get some press coverage to boot.
I wanted to share with all of you some observations I put together. Take from it what you will; it is good information if you are wondering what kind of watercolor artwork is getting recognized nationally. This is sourced from ‘Watercolor Artist: Feb 2011’ which covered the best paintings of 2010. Basically it’s a compilation of the top watercolor art societies show winners from across the country. There were twenty-two paintings listed, so I just started categorizing them by type and size.
The sizes of these paintings varies but the majority; nine, were 22” x 30”. Seven were larger than this with the largest spanning 40” x 40”. Six were smaller, again not by much with the smallest at 15” x 30”. Portraits made up the majority of subjects with six. Following this were abstracts at four, then images of daily life and landscapes tied with three each. Trailing behind were two cityscapes and last but not least, a lone still life. One of the paintings was an abstract portrait, so I counted this in both categories.
What I walked away with is this. Paint what you want, but go big or go home. Portraits seem to interest people more than anything because it brings in the human factor and story to a painting. I honestly liked most of the work, in particular John Salminen’s cityscapes, and Daniel Vangeli’s self portrait. That year I submitted work to the Missouri and Transparent exhibitions but was turned down. I met Ken Call up at the Illinois Watercolor Society Members show last fall. Ken took home top honors at the Louisiana Watercolor exhibition. Seems to me I’m lurking in the right places and becoming familiar with good artists and show expectations. I just need to find the right juror who likes what I have to offer.
This year I submitted art to the AWS, TWSA, MoWS, Splash 13 and the Artist Magazine. I will be sending something to the jury of the NWS and there are a few others I’m eyeing. From this list I’m showing in the TWSA (Transparent Watercolor Society of America) and hopefully if my luck holds out, I’ll make it into that Artists Magazine exhibition. The rest turned my work down. It is progress, albeit slow progress. If the art festivals I’m in this year all tank , maybe I will redirect some of my energy into other avenues. Time will tell.
I have a new painting done, three in the works and more news. Lastly I’ve had some thoughts about expanding into a newer coalition gallery across town. Stay tuned.