An enormous emotional and physical experience! For details of this SASA event go to The Art of Intuitive Painting. Di McNaughton has posted a brilliant article on her Blog describing the procedure and the emotions that go with it.
I just feel so desperately sad about the huge quantity of quality work that was turned down. Only about 300 out of 500 paintings could be selected due to the available exhibition space at Kirstenbosch. I was very happy to have one painting accepted. It’s a portrait called “Jessie” that I did with a life-painting group in Pinelands. It got a high enough score to be included in the approximately 300 works selected for the exhibition. One of our top Cape Town artists, who sells her work very successfully at high prices, didn’t score enough for any of her paintings to be accepted. I am proud of my achievement and consider myself very lucky.
I was one of the helpers on the day and when I climbed into my car, sometime after five, I felt totally shattered; one major, big time low! I was totally spaced out and could not think coherently. I drove home on remote control, partly, I think, due to physical and emotional exhaustion. At the end of selection I had to help hand back the scored entry forms to the artists. It cut me to the core to have to say to too many of them, “Sorry, you had nothing selected.”
A brilliant exhibition could be held with many of the art works that did not attain a high enough score. It was extremely difficult to see why some works were highly scored and others not, but then, I have no formal art training and have absolutely no experience in such things. Perhaps it would help if the judges explained what they looked for and what criteria they used to evaluate a painting. I found it very confusing. One very positive comment from one of the judges was that the standard of the work was exceptionally high. I would not like to have been in their shoes! Big congratulations to all those who had works accepted.
I studied many paintings during those long hours. Of those that did well, some I really liked and some, although I thought they were good, had no emotional appeal at all. I know where I am going and I know what I am trying to achieve. I must get back into my studio and work. Hard work and perseverance and somehow I will get to the next step, but when there, I know that there will always be another step to go. The staircase is never ending, but wow, what a journey, what a view from it. I love what I do, as Di said, “Warts and all”!
The Kirstenbosch Selection Exhibition will be held in the Sanlam Lecture Hall on Saturday 3 October 2008.