Hype and Hopefulness

We Were Wilder Once, acrylic on unprimed jute, 26″ x 16″

On Wednesday, I shipped this painting to Arizona, to Christina of the lovely EmelinaQueen. We met in college, where this painting was part of my senior showcase. A year-and-a-half has passed since that exhibition, and, lo, this painting suddenly found a home. Unexpected and awesome, especially since Christina and I reconnected through this blog.

A Usual Wind, acrylic, mold and water stains on unprimed canvas, 20″ x 16″

And, can you believe it, on Friday, I dropped this painting off at the Westmont Museum of Art for a juried show I had entered?

I feel a sense of wonder and even slight giddiness, which makes me instinctively suspicious. Can this streak of luck last? Is it luck, or is this what happens when you get out of your comfort zone and actually attempt to achieve the things you desire? Do I dare to hope for more success or would that just be hyping myself up in preparation for crashing disappointment?

Personally, I’ll opt for not hoping. Hope occurs to me as an expectation waiting to be dashed. Better, it seems, are gratitude and inspiration to work harder and be braver. And also to remember what fellow painter Daniel Galas said (in an interview with Studio Critical): “If you aren’t being denied fifteen times a year from submitting your work for shows, you aren’t applying enough.”

So forget these minor successes. There’s always major rejection to work up to.

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