Friday, 16 April 2010

SWA Society of Women Artists Annual Exhibition 2010

 Cockerels 2009
A collection of watercolours from 2009 including a cockerel that was later framed and accepted into the SWA Society of Woment Artists 2009 Annual Exhibition.

Call For Entries 2010

This time last year I can remember sitting on the floor in my studio and looking at six paintings that  formed a collection which I intended to submit on the hand in day for the SWA 2009 Annual Exhibition. Several artists I already admired were members and I had  read the details on the SWA web site regarding dates and information I needed to be aware of. 

You can find the details for this years exhibition via this link.

Selecting work for any society really is a decision to be taken with great care. I knew I would be making my first impression with these pieces and I studied so many points about them. Did they really represent me and who I was as an artist at that time? I will be honest and admit I seriously was concerned about my subject choice.I paint portraits which have been commended and won prizes in the past so should I really consider this group of cockerels. But my instinct was screaming yes and so it was that I found myself carefully handing over the six required paintings on the handing in day.


From the minute I arrived at the Mall Galleries on hand in day I was 100% impressed with everyone I met.. I was  made to feel welcome, my work was treated with respect and great care and I left feeling how much it would mean to be to belong to such a professional group of artists.



Then as everyone knows there is the agonizing wait to hear if your work has been accepted or not. I knew I had handed in what I  felt was an interesting body of work but  now the decision fell into the hands of a team of judges forming a panel to select what they felt were paintings worthy of being in an exhibition renowned for it's very high standard. In every exhibition there is only so much wall space and with hundreds of submissions to choose from only the best make it into the final selection. I already knew the professional standard of the work of artists I was hoping to be hung alongside.



The following week I recieved a phone call from the President of the SWA. I heard how not four but all six of my paintings had been accepted and that I was  being offered an Associate membership. At this point I probably should have acted calm and collected but I am sure my  joy showed. I was absolutely thrilled and of course this meant I carried a signature after my name. One which I am proud to hold  because of the history and professionalism of the SWA. I have never forgooten how the President took the time to make that personal call. I can't put into words how much it meant but it really played a huge part in how I think of the society which is professional from the smallest to largest of details.



At the Private Preview I discovered I had been awarded with the Anthony J Lester Art Critic Award.  After the presentation Anthony informed me  my work reminded him of Joseph Crawhill which was a huge compliment. I look back and see what influence this award has had on my work. I strive to live up to the achievement and honour.

 "Morning Calls"
Winning Painting from the  2009 Cockerel Collection.



I visited the Mall Galleries many times during the SWA 2009 exhibition, each time meeting  friends or being made to feel welcome. I was inspired by every single artists work and fully  understood the weight of responsibility on the judging panels shoulders to ensure that the exhibition was a huge success and it was. I left each time wanting  to be in this years exhibition and trying to decide what I should submit. Everyone is expecting cockerels !



A year has passed and I need to make  new decisions. What do I submit this year. In a weeks time I will go to London, hand in my chosen paintings and make the agonizing wait yet again to hear if I have had a painting accepted. Only then will I know I have made the right choice in my selection.


Because of who I am and my personlity  I completely understand many artists feeling they are not worthy or good enough to consider submitting work for top societies especially when there is the fear of rejection.  I also know there are many talented artists who rarely  consider taking part in these  prestigious events.

I recommend looking at the SWA web site and viewing the work of the members which will give you a good indication as a measure as to whether your own work is suitable to submit or not. Bear in mind the exhibition  is always  varied in style and subject matter. You can submit up to six paintings so if you only have one you feel will showcase your style and talent that is also an option.

Whether you submit or not I  strongly recommend coming to the SWA Annual Exhibiton as it really is one of the best I have ever seen,  full of  amazing art and  motivational on a very high level to create and  to a high standard of professionalism.

 I now need to really focus on my own choices for this year and I will be making  these decisions very carefully!


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