Queensboro Bridge construction, 10X8, Carol L. Douglas

A friend got a rejection letter from an agent on whom she had pinned hopes. This is where her life as an artist begins, where she begins to look inside herself for approval and develops a strong sense of the value of her own voice.

Rejection either makes you or breaks you. Some of us walk away from the encounter so badly bruised that we stop putting our work in the public marketplace. Others get up and paint again.

The Dugs in Autumn, 12X9, Carol L. Douglas
Rejection is part of the artistic process. Last year, I encouraged my pal Tarryl to apply for a show that I thought was a slam-dunk. She was rejected. This year she encouraged me to apply for a show that she thought I would get in. I was rejected. This has nothing to do with either of our abilities or worth as people or inherent talent. It’s about the taste and style of the judges.
It’s paradoxically true that we can be rejected for being either too good or too bad; it’s easiest for critics to see and understand what has already been done, what is in the safe middle ground.
“When they organized their first exhibition [the Impressionists] all already mature artists who had been working for fifteen years or more… Dissatisfied they may have been, but they did not consider that they were as yet beyond the pale. Manet, in fact, still endeavored to show in the Salon, and was bitterly disappointed when he was rejected.” (Richard J. Boyle, American Impressionism)

Indiana sketchbook #1, 12X6, Carol L. Douglas
Let me know if you’re interested in painting with me on the Schoodic Peninsula in beautiful Acadia National Park in 2015 or Rochester at any time. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops! Download a brochure here.