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Judging artwork can be a daunting task - once the judges are not faced with obvious differences in execution skill - because art is so subjective.  I have had my work judged many times over the years, in competitions, in juries for show entries, and in public art submissions.  Only twice have I been witness to the judging and in both cases it was very interesting.
 
The first occurred many years ago at the Camarillo Art center.  I had been assisting in hanging a competitive show, and the judge arrived when we were about done, she had no idea that I was one of the artists.  I won a second or third prize (yes, it's so long ago I can't remember which) for a watercolor - the road to Ojai with a couple big wavy bands of white clouds against a deep cobalt blue.  It had been painted from a photograph I'd taken and was pretty close to reality.  The judge (whose name also eludes me through the years) commented that many people would not believe that sky does things like that, but she had seen similar skies, thus I gained the prize.  
 
The second time I was witness to judgement was in October when the Public Art Committee at Palm Desert was deciding between the proposals for two traffic signal box murals.  Myself and another artist had each proposed a design for each box.  There was quite a bit of discussion on which design would work best on which box.  The other artist had proposed a rocks-with-borregos scene for the two-box site and a cactus scene for the single box.  I had proposed a series of four skies for the single box and two skies each spanning both boxes for the double box.  There was some dislike for my four-sky design as one of them was a thundercloud and was thought to be too dismal, as was one of the clouds in my two-sky design.  Also, there was concern as to whether the top of my sky was too dark for the box, as I needed to consider the effect of heat on the electrics in the box.  They liked the rocks-and-borregos design, but wanted it in the one-box location, which was near some rocks - right outside the College of the Desert.  Then there was a discussion about whether the College would dislike this design as the College mascot is a roadrunner, not a borrego.  
 
At the committee meeting the decision was to go for the borregos at the College, if the College approved (which they did), otherwise the cactus, and to have my two-sky design at the two-box location, pending my ability to adust one cloud, and the other sky to both be lighter.  So, in this coming month I will be on the corner of Town Center Way and Fred Waring, skying up a couple of signal boxes.  
 
Last month I also completed a wreath for the Boys and Girls Club of Cathedral City.  My neighbor was dismantling a deceased bicycle and when he came to put one of the wheels in the trash can, I was inpsired!  (See my website.)  I'm not sure when the auction is to be but if you'd like to get 'WreathCycled', at auction, to hang on your door for the holidays, 
I'm sure they will know the details. 
 
I have two shows this month - Tempe the first weekend and Palm Springs the second and have some small gift sized items at boutique shows in Borrego Springs Art Institute and Moreno Valley's Vanguard Gallery.  The painting you see above is 'Astonishment 2' - it's not quite complete yet but I'm hoping to have it finished in time for Tempe.  
 
Hope you have a Happy Holidays. 
Copyright © 2013 Jeni Bate, All rights reserved.
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