Much of my free time over the past month has been spent obsessing over the juried photography competition -- should I actually enter and if so, which photos? I like my photos, I'm proud of them, but are they really art? I finally decided that not submitting would be chickening out and I really had no excuse not to try. It helped that the woman who runs the program emphasized repeatedly that the 3-person jury changes each year and some years the accepted works are predominantly color, some years black & white, sometimes edgy, and others softer and pictorial. She's been surprised by some of the accepted works in the past and astonished by rejected ones -- bottom line not being accepted doesn't mean your work sucks.
So that took a week. Then I asked readers, friends, family, colleagues, and finally complete strangers which of the calendar photos I should enter. I whittled the possibles down to 5 photos for a variety of reasons (why was I the only person who liked the bee on the white dahlia the best?):
I loaded all 5 onto a thumb-drive and threw myself on the mercy of 2 lovely gentlemen at the print shop. I needed their advice on which 3 would print the best and at what size. They invited me behind the counter and together we critiqued my work. We all agreed that the rain covered dahlia (upper left above) was lovely, but quite ordinary -- it could have been snapped by anyone anywhere anytime. We all liked the sunflower (upper right above), the color, shape, the perceived motion, but the blurry bee on the left detracted from the photo. Then there were 3:
We're expecting yet another storm on Wednesday, so I won't be able to pick up the prints until Thursday -- $28. Since they're an odd size (8 x1 0.5), I will be having 11 x 14 white mattes custom cut for them on Friday -- $50. An artist portfolio to submit them in -- $15.79 (and a prayer that overstock.com delivers by Friday). Entry fee -- $20. Is it wrong that I keep thinking how many plants that would have purchased in the spring? But I'll buy some inexpensive 11 x 14 frames next time Kohl's has a sale and if the photos aren't accepted or are accepted but don't sell there will be some new art in my living room.
Cross your fingers for me that it all comes together and this year the jury's into bugs and flowers!