I feel very lucky to have learned a valuable lesson about my art recently, and it's to do with winning awards and getting rejected.
This is what happened. I entered the same two paintings into two juried shows, one right after the other. In one show they were both rejected. The next one accepted one of the paintings & it won two awards. Now, I could have got discouraged that I didn't get accepted into the first show, but I just thought to myself that it probably wasn't the right sort of show for my work. I was more focused on the whole experience of applying to juried shows, which is still quite new to me. I went along to the Juror's Talk for first one & enjoyed the whole experience. Even although I didn't get in, I still felt good that I had applied.
When I went to the opening for the second show, the one I did get into, I knew ahead of time I had an honorable mention, but I was totally blown away when it was announced that I had won a second award & that as part of the award the Mayor had bought my painting to hang in his office. Looking around at all the other paintings, there were so many by very talented artists. I know that they also deserved awards, but the jurors can only pick so many for special attention. So I know not to make winning awards to mean too much about my painting either.
It was a valuable lesson to learn. It can be very easy to get hung up about not being accepted into a show or not selling a painting and make it mean that your art is not very good. I have decided that it is best to focus on the whole experience & enjoy it for what it is, and not worry about the outcome. I love painting and I enjoy my own paintings, and if other people also like them, then that is really encouraging. But art is very subjective and not everyone will like the same thing. I hope that I can hold onto this lesson & remember to enjoy the process without worrying too much about 'winning or losing'.