Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Challenging expectations.

This was the view I had at the weekend looking over the vale of Evesham - it was beautiful.
 
 
I was at the fabulous Farncombe Estate in the Cotswolds for a weekend with The Textile Study Group. It was an illustrious line up of textile artists that read something like my book shelf!

 
We were tutored by two TSG members Sian Martin and Penny Burnfield. The idea throughout the weekend was to challenge conventional ideas of drawing and to consider alternative ways of getting ideas out of our heads.
 
 
We drew in the studio and outside, rapid 30 second sketches over and over again using different media, combining different media, using different hands... "getting to know our lines"

 
We layered drawings on top of drawings

 
and then back in the studio, looked at various different ways to make drawings.

 
It was an excellent weekend and lots of fun, challenging expectations.

 
For me, the weekend had another purpose as I, along with four others, had been invited to bring a portfolio of work to be considered for membership of the group. Unfortunately for me that wasn't quite so much fun and I heard yesterday that I would not be invited to join the group. My work was considered not to have enough variety or depth.

 
To say I am disappointed and deflated is a bit of an understatement, but mostly I'm disappointed in myself as I know I didn't present well. But now I'm starting to question whether I could have done better in the circumstances. Family life has not been always been easy over the past couple of years, but then that seems like making excuses... we all have hard times. At the end of the day, I'm just not up there with that illustrious group of names and that's a hard pill to swallow. It is one thing having lots of wonderful blog followers who leave me kind comments and lavish praise but the recognition of my peers was something I aspired to. It is making me seriously reconsider where I go from here.
 
However, in the grand scheme of things, especially considering the atrocities that are going on in the world at the moment this is all pretty meaningless. I'm not usually one to stay down for long and no doubt I'll bounce back before the week is out... but you can expect cake from me not fine art... mostly because we've a special family birthday at the weekend!

37 comments:

  1. Dear Gina,
    I am sorry that you have had this news because I know how you continually measure your own work against that of your peers. Remember that this is only one aspect of your portfolio and that you have multiple other indications of the high quality of your creative output. I know that you will reflect on the feedback and that it will inspire you to try harder. Do not feel that you have fallen at a hurdle - you have been given the opportunity to build on your work and surprise yourself. Alicex

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm sorry the group didn't agree to accept you but maybe it's more a question of timing. I would have said that your work shows a lot of variety and not inconsiderable depth. I hope you don't let this discourage you in any way. Maybe it's a catalyst for the next stage in your textile/creative life. xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. Don't close the door on it. You were not right for them this time. Maybe another group? I don't mean to sound like a cat poster but live your own dream and all that.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nooooo! Gina, how very brave of you to tell us about what happened - that in itself is inspirational. The quality of your work is exceptional, and you are a fantastic teacher. Variety? Depth? Keep doing what you're doing, and keep doing it well (a given, you can't help it - I saw that free machining "sample" on Facebook). And that includes dealing with family turmoils, plum overloads and cake baking. Where would we all be without your down to earth sense of humour, ability to take it on the chin, but most importantly - the cakes!

    ReplyDelete
  5. That is very hard. But you have lovely things to look forward to and I hope you won't dwell on the wrong decision too long...
    Ax

    ReplyDelete
  6. Awe I'm sorry you feel disappointed and deflated Gina, neither of them nice feelings.
    It's brave of you to tell us about it, it would have been easier for you not even to have mentioned it but you did which in itself means you're dealing with it and I have read your blog for long enough to know that you will deal with it !
    Enjoy you broth day celebrations and cake!
    V x

    ReplyDelete
  7. Typically you have been brave and honest in telling us all of your disappointment. But don't give up. We value your skills, sense of humour and baking and your blog is a highlight to the days you post. Carry on

    ReplyDelete
  8. I can't believe what I've just read - I was sure that you'd be accepted! I am so sorry, I can understand your disappointment - maybe it was all down to a lack of " art b*****ks"
    Never mind, we all love you xx

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am sorry you did not get the result you wanted. There's nothing that could be said to make you feel better. The only thing you could do is count your blessings, you are very talented. Take care.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I can tell how gutted you are not to be accepted. I've just been having a browse through the members' work on the web site - I haven't heard of any of them so have no preconceptions. There seems to be a 'look' to them all and I think the concept description plays a big part too. It takes a strong resolve to do something different but just as valid. Sometimes it takes a jolt to make us look at our own work with a fresh eye - once we get over felling deflated and pissed off.
    Will you be invited again or is it just one chance?
    C xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh Gina, I'm sorry you feel so upset about not joining the group, but please do not question your work. You were not right for this group at this time. You have their feedback, if you choose you can work on this aspect. Or you can carry on developing your own style. Yes we strive for acceptance from our peers, but some of the greatest artist are those that ' go their own way'. xx

    ReplyDelete
  12. When one door closes....another one opens.
    If you believe that you are not 'worthy' for the group, then you will not progress.
    One of the comments suggests that the members share a 'look', why? I thought the purpose of the group would be to have unique, individual work, not all much the same.
    I think your work is stunning xxx

    ReplyDelete
  13. We've all been there Gina, unfortunately. Although it can be painful in the end the only important thing is that you dance to your own tune.so go on girl, get dancing x

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am sorry you didn't get a chance to join this group of textile artists. Maybe the time wasn't right, or maybe your work doesn't fit their portfolio. It may just be that the group were looking for somebody to complement their work rather than adding a new and different dimension, yours. It is more important to be yourself and express yourself in a way you are comfortable with and that makes you happy than being a member of a group. Keep smiling and eat cake! Cx

    ReplyDelete
  15. So sorry the outcome wasn't what you were hoping for and yes, rejection, especially when it involves peers, is tough. My only advice is to keep in mind that when something doesn't work out, something else usually will and sometimes in a way you didn't expect. This experience might make you pause but don't let it stop you.

    ReplyDelete
  16. A tricky situation but I hope you won't take it too much to heart. I love your work and appreciate the skill behind it. Could it be a matter of personal taste on the part of the selection committee? Perhaps they prefer the more abstract and conceptual approach? I can understand your disappointment but maybe there is something better for you on the horizon.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Dear Gina,

    I am one of the many who leave comments here in the honest belief that your work is truly praiseworthy. I have taken the time to read the comments left by other readers here and I admire Celia's words enormously. She's taken the time to look up the work of others (she's so good like that) and has noticed a certain uniformity (is that the right word?) which unite them. Your work is not inferior but different, in this case. My question to you is; do you have a second chance to prove yourself to this group or to another? I don't think you should settle for thinking you are not up to it.

    I hope these words are not too direct.

    Hugs, if I may,

    Stephanie

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sorry Gina, I for one love what you do and can imagine how disappointed you must be, but I am sure there is another door which will open for you.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Gina, I really felt impelled to comment after reading your post this morning, in fact I was silently screaming at the computer. Please, please, don't let this rejection inhibit your flow of work. The opinions of others, however illustrious you consider them, are merely opinions - who is to say that your blog followers' opinions are not equally valid. I'd suggest that most of us are not naive in the ways of the arty world - we may lavish praise, and that's because it is deserved. But more than that, what we find here is not only top quality work, but also inspiration, education,community and authenticity - I am certain I am not alone in appreciating your willingness to share your experiences here with us all. Please don't be too quick to weigh the judgement of your peers against the respect of your followers, and for goodness sake keep at it - my advice for what it's worth, is to go outside, have a good scream, punch a cushion, then take a deep breath and get on with it - we're all with you.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sorry that they didn't feel your work was right for them, what one person considers range and depth is clearly different from someone else's. I personally love all of the range of your work, and although I understand totally how you're feeling, try not to let it get to you. It clearly wasn't the right group for you and another door will open that is the right one.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I do feel for you Gina and do know that same feeling. It sounds trite but comparing yourself to others is futile. Someone once wisely said "The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself. Remember the compliments you receive. Forget the rest...". Enjoy what you do for what it is - and it IS brilliant. Cathy x.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Bugger. Prosecco's on me next week.

    ReplyDelete
  23. How brave you are to share this news. Do not doubt your capabilities, your work is wonderful and very inspiring. Maybe the group isn't really for you! Do you really want to be pushed out of your comfort zone and produce work that just isn't you to fit in. If in a few weeks time you feel you really want to extend your work, look at how you could produce a body to work that would be more suitable. Speak to the group, I'm sure that they will give direction. At least you were invited to be a prospective member. I know you will make something positive come out of this. X

    ReplyDelete
  24. All of the above! Just cos they won't let you join their gang doesn't mean you aren't as good, just different. You've got a lot of other admirers, and we love what you do - please take some comfort in that. Onward and upward!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I hear and feel your pain - but beyond all else, don't ever give up teaching. Your skill and talent shines thru when you show us your pupils work.

    I remain fascinated by the cell phone sketches, concept, work in progress, and exhibited!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I just want to second all the very thoughtful comments above--I think others have already said it better than I can. You are so talented. Please don't let this one instance put you off. Art is all subjective at the end of the day, and this is just one group of artists with one set of personal ideas and opinions, which are their own and not necessarily representative of the art world at large. xx

    ReplyDelete
  27. Gina, I saw your face smiling out of a photo in Bobby's latest newsletter so I was waiting for this post in high expectation. Reading it and all the comments has been a journey of highs and lows. I echo everything the others have said and think there are some fabulous comments here that should be printed out, laminated, and pinned up somewhere to read when you need affirmation that the path you're on is YOUR path and the one you want to be on. You have bared your soul with typical honesty and integrity here and your disappointment is palpable but you will turn this negative to a positive. Your track record to date is proof you will do that.Onwards and upwards chum.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I am so sorry to hear that you were not chosen to join that group. I would like to add my voice to the above comments, and to encourage you both to move forward and to continue to believe in your own work and style. On reading your post, I feel gratitude for your honesty in sharing your experience of disappointment, and I will remember not to just write about sucessful pieces, but about things that have not worked out.
    Jane
    www.texturetrail/blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  29. You are an artist Gina,rejection and criticism hurts, no matter how often it happens over the years.I agree with the previous comments and would like to say BRAVO! It takes guts to put your work out there and aim for new goals.Its their loss.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Gina, I've only just read your post and I'm sure you're feeling a bit better by now; good to see you on Wednesday. This may send you off in a new direction, who knows? This 'art' world is full of ups and downs, as long as you're enjoying your creativity, that's the important part. Think of your talent and skills you share with so many appreciative people!!

    ReplyDelete
  31. i had missed this post, but wanted to chime in, even though it may be a bit late.
    Art is in the eye of the beholder. When you realize that some of the masters did not/could not live on their art sales in their lifetime, were considered by their peers to be untalented, and were dismissed from the art groups of the time, then there is hope for all of us who do not measure up to someone else's idea of what art should be!
    If you create because you must, and if you create from your head, heart and soul, then you are an artist. And I think, too, that not 'fitting in' to a group means that your art stands alone, is unique and apart from everyone else's. Isn't that a good thing? If it sings with your own voice, if it brings you pleasure, fills a need within you, and speaks to other people (and you know it does from all your supportive followers) then it is valuable.
    Who cares what some art snob thinks?

    ReplyDelete
  32. I think that Art snobs is a very good description..
    Sometimes I think that these groups set them selves
    up as the elite , when on occasions the work they produce is far from what one would expect. If fact some work seen in exhibitions beggars belief.
    Rant over, you are every bit as worthy as them , you
    just do not need them. You are one talented lady and a great teacher. Their loss. Not many can say that. In the words of Fleetwood Mac, you can go your own way..

    ReplyDelete
  33. I'm behind in reading posts so am coming late to this one. Bravo for sharing what you considered a failure. I see it more that your style does doesn't sit well with this group, however they state that they are 'artists and tutors sharing ideas imagination and skills' and you more than fit in with that description.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm late reading this Gina, to be honest I really don't know what to say, others have said it all. Sorry you went through this disappointment, but knowing you, you will use it and something wonderful will come out of the experience, we should all watch this space including TSG!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hogwash to them, is all I can say! Everything I've seen you do is wondrous! You just keep on being true to yourself! Don't eat too much cake! ;)
    xoxo- Julie

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'm finally catching up here after my extended holiday so apologies for this late comment.

    To my mind the most important measure of success for any artist is do you share your skills, are you a good teacher, and Gina you can surely have no doubts on that score given the very many happy students you have.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Late, I am late! What a disappointment for you Gina but I must agree with Annie, Celia and Alice and the others. You are a fine artist in your own right and you certainly are not one dimensional.

    Sending a hug or two. xx

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving me a comment. I love to read what you have to say and try to reply directly by email when possible... although it sometimes takes me a while!