Unplaced

Unplaced, a very discreet way of saying that your work has not been accepted for show. And, as in life, so it can go for an artist. We have to face and deal with rejection. Sometimes you sense it coming and at other times you may feel blindsided by it. I believed my submission (and it is purposefully undisplayed on my blog) to be the right one. The judging panel did not agree.

So, what to make of it? Well firstly, you know it isn't personal and it behoves us to quickly detach that lie from our sense of well-being. Secondly, you have to ask yourself the question you least like to–was the work 'good enough'. In this case I believe so and discovered on collecting my piece I was in good-hearted company. Confidence maintained is important. But confidence can't be allowed to mutate into arrogance for that will end up blinding you. I often experience those with a deep root of confidence as quiet and thoughtful. It seems arrogance is married to pride and confidence to humility. Indeed, confidence is best displayed when we lessen the need to jostle for position and treat both success and failure with an equanimous spirit. A setback never feels good, but it does not halt the journey or define it. It can become a place for honest reflection and renewed focus. It can become a place of great grace. 

So what then? The answer is you will rarely know why a piece is not selected. And, because you don't know speculation will only fuel a fever of doubt. Take the time to work it through, let it go and move onwards. There are many more paintings to make and opportunities to enjoy.

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