Artist quotes - Albert Handell -
Albert Handell in his studio

Even master pastelist Albert Handell has had paintings rejected from art shows — see what he has to say about this inevitable part of being an artist. The following comes from his blog, “Ask Albert.”

Question: “I was rejected from a local show. I had sent in two works, and neither one was accepted, even though I thought they were good. Has that ever happened to you and, if so, how did you feel?”

Albert Handell: Yes. That has happened to me in the past, and yes just again this year, though it’s been a good year. I was rejected from a regional show last year, and I entered the same painting this year. It received first place in oils in the Masterworks of New Mexico Annual Exhibition in Albuquerque. So it all seems to make no sense.

Just believe in your works, and the rest is secondary. For me personally, even at this stage of my life, I take nothing for granted. Usually I have good luck and do well, but I still take nothing for granted. I’m always happy when I get a phone call on a Wednesday before the opening, which is usually on a Sunday. The person who calls says “Good news, you won a prize. Please come to the opening this Sunday.” They will not tell you what prize you won. If I don’t get a phone call on Wednesday and the opening is that Sunday, I presume for sure that I haven’t received a prize, and I go anyhow with a smile on my face so I can network with everybody.

Handling rejection - Albert Handell -
Albert Handell, “There is Beauty at Every Stage”

My painting “There is Beauty at Every Stage” won first prize in oils one year and was rejected the next year from a rather local exhibition in another state, and I would like to leave it at that.

When I was younger and I was rejected now and then from a show, I took it harder because I felt my inferiors had judged and rejected me. But nothing was going to stop me from painting. And ironically, with all the shows and prizes I received back then, I still had financial problems!!!

“Just believe in your works and the rest is secondary.” ~ Albert Handell

Related article > Master Pastelist Albert Handell
Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Editor’s Note: This blog post is used with permission from Albert Handell. Visit his site to read more from “Ask Albert.”

Listen to Eric Rhoads interview Albert Handell in this PleinAir Podcast:

Preview Handell’s art video, “Painting in Oil,” below. Included in the video is a start-to-finish painting demonstration where Albert explains each step that he takes and why. This will solidify your newfound knowledge so you can apply the techniques in your own paintings.


  1. Thank you Albert. These explanations and sharing your experience mean a lot to us aspiring artists as we traverse our paths to success! “Believe in your work” all the rest is noise and happenstance.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here