PSA Signature

Submitted by Gary on Thu, 03/21/2013 - 18:23

Early Snow, Lake Creek, 16 x 20, Pastel

Garrapata by Morning, 14 x 18, Pastel

May Snow and Megaliths, 16 x 20, Pastel

I'd like to share with you my most recent honor. Today I received an e-mail from Cindy at the Pastel Society of America saying the membership jury voted me the distinguished honor of Pastel Society of America signature membership. I can't tell you how big a deal that is to me. PSA is the premier signature for a pastelist. It signifies a degree of recognition that no matter how large and important a regional organization may be, it doesn't feel the same.

I thought I might get 'PSA' when I applied first five years or so ago. I was awarded associate membership to my very great disappointment but that was better than being rejected altogether! Then I applied two years ago when I just knew I had it in the bag. Nope, didn't happen then either. I felt pretty low and couldn't understand the jury's reasoning and had major doubts about my talents and abilities. I talked to other disappointed artists. I developed an attitude and pretended it didn't matter. It was a bad place to be. Still I kept painting, in fact I redoubled my efforts to improve. That rejection was a turning point for me. It made me work a lot harder than I would have if I were recognized at that time.

Now today I proudly stand before you as a full-fledged PSA signature member. I have had the honor to show in their national venue in 2011 at the National Arts Club in New York City and I look forward to many more opportunities to do so. For those who are striving for the PSA title, I would like to share with you the five pieces that I submitted for the jury to evaluate this time. The last time I submitted only three were required and I think two of mine might have made the cut but the third was not so great. That's hindsight, of course. At the time I thought they were all pretty terrific. This time I chose five never-before-submitted pieces. I don't claim any great brilliance in them but for those who want to see what five acceptable pieces look like - here they are.

I don't know what effect any of my decisions had on the jury but I'll mention them in case they were important. First I tried to get five pieces that seemed to be by the same artist. My style has some range, especially when you look at the work over a number of years. I rejected pieces that I liked and thought good but were a little more out of my norm. Having a body of work that hangs together is, I think, one of the jury's criteria. Second, I submitted pieces that were 14 x 18 or larger. Smaller work may look great in person but when projected on a large viewing screen might enlarge defects. Third, I only submitted landscapes and tried to keep them in the same sub-genre. No buildings, for instance and no people, animals or other things that might cloud the perception of who I am as an artist. I didn't even mix up parts of the country. I'm sure there is no problem with mixing things up if the work seems even but this was my best guess at how to present an even body of work.

Anyway, it worked out and I thank the jury and PSA for the singular honor! I now join a group of artists I greatly admire.

View to Long Lake, 16 x 20, Pastel

A Few Moments of Glory, 20 x 20, Pastel