I was pleased and honored to be chosen as the juror for this fine show. As I drove to see the entries, I was wondering if I would be a good juror. I only occasionally paint wildlife artwork myself, and I don’t think I have ever done a painting of specifically of cats. But when I saw the entries, I was pleased to see that good works of art are good, regardless of what the subject matter is. And it was especially fun to see how different and interesting artists can interpret the same subject, and see how they can make it their own. What a great idea to have a theme for the show and see the creative spin each artist will take with the subject matter.
As I look at the art as a juror, I often scan all the entries quickly, and I first look at how the work is presented. If a painting is beautifully rendered, but put in a frame that competes or distracts from the image, or is damaged, I feel like the image is compromised and immediately not as successful. The presentation of the work should show it in the best light possible.
Then I come back to look at the paintings more closely. I look at them with a critical eye to see how the principles and elements of art were used. I ask myself if the values correct. Is there interest with the use of line, texture and color? How are the positive and negative spaces used, and is there room in the work for my eye to wander around the whole image and know what the subject is, but still find interest in everything else? I look for the mastery of materials the artist has with the medium, and how successful the artwork is in the style the artist works in. I try to look at the artwork objectively and determine if they are successful in what they are trying to do or not.
After this step, I allow myself to look at a work of art subjectively and see if it has appeal to me personally. Do I like the colors and texture and values? Is this something I would have liked to have created? Is there a story in the piece is telling me, and do I like the story? And would I like to own and look at this piece of art every day?
What a wonderful opportunity to be asked to jury a show of fine art. Each time I have done it, I learn so much about what makes a piece of art interesting and successful. I appreciate the courage it takes to not only create art, but then to present it to someone for judgement. Thank you for trusting me with this monumental task.
I was also asked to bring in a painting that I had done. The person who contacted me asked that I bring in my painting of a starfish, because when she saw it, she saw a cat scuba diving, instead of the starfish. I thought the whole experience was awesome. Do you see a scuba diving cat or a starfish