What Paintings to Enter?

How do you pick the three paintings you’ll attach to the application you submit to a plein air festival? We asked that question on our Facebook community page, and we got some interesting responses (http://www.facebook.com/pleinairmagazine).

We asked the question because we thought the responses from experienced plein air painters might help others increase their chances of being accepted into more festivals. Here are some of the responses:

Michele Frantz: “One event I know of around here [Virginia] just wants to see your best work, even if it’s all different. Another quite unequivocally wants to see consistency. Unfortunately, sometimes the only way to find out what they want is to enter and see what they accept. We do have a couple where the judges state up front, in the prospectus, what they want to see from submissions. Those are so helpful, I wish they would all do it.”

Diane Dubreuil: “If it’s a plein air festival, I try to enter work that is consistently true to what I can truly paint en plein air. I wish the submission forms would state the festival’s definition of en plein air. Why call it a plein air festival if the artists are showing/submitting studio work?”

Thalia Kahl Fine Art:I would pick my best three plein air pieces. But we are sometimes too close to our own work to ‘see’ with a nonpartisan eye.”

Jackie Clark: “For the last couple of years I’ve tried a new tack: I pick four paintings that I’m proud of, were done in a single plein air session, and look good in a small thumbnail size. Then for each event I chose three of these to send. So for the most part, I use the same paintings for multiple events. Not that this system works, but it’s less stressful for me, and I get in some shows and with the exact same work I get rejected from other shows. Now while I have the talking stick…. my crystal ball tells me that the field is getting very crowded and that a day (I hope) is coming when there will be more non-juried local shows and painting retreats.”

(Due to the age of this post, some images may be missing from this article. Visit our home page at OutdoorPainter.com to view the latest posts.)


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