Keeping Art rejections in perspective

Abandoned, NV Route 157 (Roadside Remembrance #1937), solar Cyanotype + Prismacolor, copyright 2012 Douglas Stockdale –

Perhaps as many artist and photographers do, I will enter calls for art, aka juried art exhibitions, to see if I can obtain some additional interest in my artwork. Most recently, I have been started to submit my recent cyanotype prints and case in point, for my first cyanotype submission neither artworks was accepted. Not a time for any personal drama.

From me, to keep artwork rejections in perspective is to understand why I create art in the first place. Hint: it’s not about getting into exhibitions, which does provide a nice validation that whoever was jurying the exhibition did appreciate my artwork. I just really enjoy the entire artwork creation process. These are interesting opportunities to try to solve some complex puzzles for me; how to translate and transform what I see or feel into something else that can be represented in a two-dimensional plane. I might really like the outcome and many others may not, which is not really my problem. I do seek some opinions on what I create, but these are someone else’s viewpoint that I need to listen to and then decide how I want to proceed. In the case of a juried exhibitions it’s just a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ without any supporting reasons.

It’s knowing that last aspect that probably keeps me from getting me wrapped around the axel with rejections; some curators may or may not relate to what I created. Having curated juried exhibitions, I know that when I have an idea of what the exhibition should look like, I have chosen artwork accordingly. Every curator has a basis about what they like, can live with and don’t appreciate. Thus, I can only control and should be concerned what goes on in my studio and what events that I submit to and after that, it’s totally out of my control, so why worry about it? Choosing to worry about sometime that is out of my control will only lead to stress and who needs more stress in their life? Not me!

The potential upside is getting juried in and subsequent exhibition and the subsequent related social media buzzzz. Maybe even sell the artwork. I have to admit, that is nice a nice validation of my artwork. And I usually have something else in mind for the artwork I enter, so the quicker I hear back on a call-for-art, the sooner I can move on to Plan B, whatever that might be.

As I wrote earlier, I am evaluating various projects to print in cyanotype and potentially layer on some paint and/or Prismacolor media. I like the blueprint images as a metaphor for a state of mood (think Picasso’s Blu Period) or to represent the underlying condition, such as my beach series (IG Blueprints symbolizing a mood, which could elicit melancholy feelings, I feel is really in line with my earlier project Roadside Remembrance. Thus when I saw a recent call for a juried exhibition based on Abandoned Landscape, this series quickly came to mind. I have exhibited at this gallery before, but I have no idea of who the curator for this event is, nevertheless, since I had eventually planned to experiment with cyanotypes with this series, it was time to work on this series sooner than later with the cyanotype printing. I had also pre-visualized this series in conjunction with some layering of color, most likely Prismacolor, to enhance the mood as well as to create some unique prints. So now two from this series (one featured here) are complete and the other three are a work-in-progress and if the sun continues to shine, I might make the deadline with five submissions and if not, maybe only two submissions. But that’s another story…

So at the moment, I can not sell this print until I find out what happens probably sometime late February or early March, so if you are interested in the updates as to its availability, let me know.

Featured artwork: Abandoned, NV Route 157 (Roadside Remembrance #1937), solar Cyanotype + Prismacolor, unique, 8 x 10″ image on a 11 x 14 sheet of 100 lb watercolor sheet.

Cheers & make every day an Earth Day



 The Flow of Light Brushes the Shadow, an artist book from Singular Images Press, Fall 2022 release, $60.00 (CA sales tax for those residing in the USA) plus shipping expenses. Message me or singularimagespress@gmail for shipping details and PayPal invoice.

Note: The Artist Special Edition (book + extra print) is Sold Out

Book workshop:

Southeast Center for Photography (SEC4P): Creative PhotoBook workshop, (Sold Out) a virtual event on Zoom; February 25, 26 & March 4 & 5th 2023; from 10am – 1 pm, EST (3 hour session each day, with a week between the weekend sessions to work your book-dummy). 


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