I received my first rejection letter of the new year: The Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition. I have to admit that I’ve grown fond of reading rejection letters. I enjoy the subtle differences in the construction of each rejection letter. I used to save them when I was in graduate school. I pinned them to the wall of my studio like some sort of merit badge. I kept them all on the same push-pin. One day while I was painting, the push-pin fell out of the wall. It could no longer hold the weight. I laughed at the situation until I was cleaning up the mess and realized the stack that I thought had been accumulating for awhile had only amassed over the course of one academic year. Sitting there on the floor in the midst of an obscene amount of rejection letters I counted on two fingers the shows I had been selected for, neither of which were in the same year. It was a very dramatic moment.
I’ve grown a thicker skin and developed a more selective process for submissions. And sometimes a rejection letter can be a relief, especially when the opposite would mean a last minute scramble to frame and pack. I think I still prefer a rejection in the mail over one in email.
I have also finished two new monotypes and two new paintings: