Tips for entering Juried Art Shows

There are many reasons that artists participate in Juried Art Shows. These are competitions for artists where their artwork is judged for entrance into an exhibition. They can be run by galleries, specific art societies like the Georgia Watercolor Society, or community art organizations.

A juried show can help to build an artists resume, sell your work or win awards. I have been on both sides of the fence here by entering my own artwork into shows and also assisting organizations in putting on a show. Here are a few tips if you are considering a juried exhibit.

– Read the rules! Yes, there are rules for submission and you must follow them. Sounds simple but you would be surprised at how many people don’t pay attention to the details and their artwork is eliminated.

– Submit your best work. Enter those pieces that you feel represent you. Don’t enter pieces that you just think the judge will be looking for or that is similar to the type of work they do. That idea usually back fires.

– Does size matter? Aside for requirements for the submission, larger works seem to make a bigger impression. Keep in mind that many of these shows are displayed in large rooms where a larger painting will have much more of an impact from across the room than a smaller one.

– Attend the reception. Just about all exhibits have an opening day reception in which awards are presented. Do your best to attend and support the organization. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet the other artists and to talk to collectors about your work.

– And most important, keep a positive outlook. It is hard for us artists who expose so much of ourselves to be displayed in public to keep a positive outlook when our work is not accepted. The judge is only one person, who has their own likes and dislikes. It doesn’t mean your work is not good. This was probably the hardest lesson for me to learn.  And still learning! I have to keep reminding myself of that! 

Good Luck with all of your entries into Juried Shows.


On a personal note, I was thrilled to have had two of my pieces accepted into a juried show at The Lyndon House in Athens, Ga. It was a large show with 894 entries and only 194 got accepted.

The exhibit is on until May 2nd, so if you are in the area stop by to see all of the wonderful artwork!


Lyndon House Art Center

What’s in a name?

It all started on a cold snowy day in Georgia- yes snowy day in Georgia. One of the very few we have here but it was a doozy! So I had the whole day inside the studio since I wasn’t going anywhere.

I was thinking of keeping warm and wanted to paint something bright. I found an inspiration photo of these peppers and I knew immediately that this was it. So the drawing began and the painting was started.



It was important to take the painting process a bit slowly for each pepper. I wanted my colors to mix on the paper for each individual pepper but not all over the paper. Painting around some of the small stems were a bit tricky too!

peppers2So I took my time, changing up the colors on each pepper to make each one look different. I talked about colormixing in my last post and there was quite a bit of that going on here. Can you see how the red changes in areas from orange or to a purplish color?

The next step was putting in a background and finishing it up. Always the hardest part- with lots of decisions to be made. This time I chose to make a darker section in middle to make those peppers pop out.



And the final step is a name- that’s where I need your help. I’m looking for some suggestions to name this painting. Something fun that will make you look twice.  What jumps out to you?  Leave a comment. Thanks all!


Colormixing vibrant colors in Watercolor

One of the traits of watercolor that I love so much is the luminosity and transparency  of the color. It’s important to keep your colors fresh and to not get too “muddy” by overmixing. And as with anything this takes practice. For anyone that is new to watercolor painting I thought it would be helpful to put together a short tutorial on how to use colors that are blended right on the paper rather than pre-mixed on the palette. Once you see how this works I think you will understand how much more exciting and vibrant the colors look.

I’ve done this chart with three primary colors, Hansa Yellow, Ultramarine Blue and Pyrrol Red. Of course this practice works with all of your colors, so just keep experimenting. This was done in my Strathmore Visual Journal sketchbook with 140lb paper. And having enough clean water is always a must, use a large container so you don’t have to re-fill as often.



One more doorway…

I wanted to close out my challenge with one more doorway…

I got a bit sidetracked after the workshop I attended but I did have one more photo that I wanted to get painted from a fellow blogger and online friend, Kathy. Please take a moment to visit her blog at Wildflower Kath for a fun, creative and inspirational message.

I was so inspired by her home-  huge wooden beams, great stone work all set against a great big sky!

I only painted a small glimpse of the entryway as time would permit- enjoy!

Painting Challenge – Day 28 – Taking flight

I’ve been away for the past few days at a painting workshop sponsored by the Georgia Watercolor Society in conjunction with their Member’s Exhibit, so I haven’t been able to post any paintings. The wi-fi at the hotel has been spotty . But since I have some internet time now I thought I would post a photo of my painting from the workshop that is still in process.

The instructor is Lian Zheng and he has been a wonderful teacher. I loved how he started the workshop with reminders on creating good compositions and how to plan them out. We did our paintings with only 3 basic color paints- that was both a challenge and a bit freeing, no need to decide which color to choose, just mix it!

So, this is just the beginning of my painting- there are sections that are masked out so that I can retain the white of the paper to be painted later. It has been a fun and exhilarating workshop.

taking flight 3

Painting Challenge – Day 23 – The Outhouse

"The Outhouse" Watercolor 4 x 6

“The Outhouse”
Watercolor 4 x 6

Oh, a little rickety old outhouse is the featured doorway for today, complete with crooked roof. How charming!

I hope you all have been enjoying the doorways and paintings during this 30 day challenge as much as I have.

I know that a few of you have sent in a photo of a doorway that you might not have seen yet but hold tight. I’m still working away….

But the next few days are going to be really tight for me. I will be attending a painting workshop with the Georgia Watercolor Society and will be away for 3 days. So I’ll try to keep you posted on what’s happening at the workshop and post some photos about that if all the technology cooperates. ( Uh oh, forgot to check if the hotel has wi-fi!).

Painting Challenge – Day 18- NYC Brownstone

NYC Brownstone Watercolor 8 x8 $100

NYC Brownstone
Watercolor 8 x8

I was sent a some great photos of NYC brownstones from my cousin Joseph. I knew as soon as I saw them that I had to paint at least one of them. Some of the others I might have to add to my arsenal of reference photos. If some of you don’t know me well, I’m originally from New York, transplanted in the Atlanta area for about 16 years now. So this painting just brought back good memories. I enjoyed painting this so much that I think I might even re-do it into a larger piece!

I hope you all enjoy the New York City feel of this painting as much as I did!

Painting Challenge- Day 17 – Pen & Ink Floral

Taking a short break today from the doorways as I am in the middle of finishing up a couple of them up. So today’s painting is a pen & ink drawing with a watercolor wash of a floral design. This is one where less is more. Just enough color to give it some life. Enjoy!

Floral Pen & Ink Watercolor 5 x 7  $75

Floral Pen & Ink
Watercolor 5 x 7

This post is part of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge with Leslie Saeta. Check out her blog here and see some of the other 300 other artists who are participating in this challenge also.