Updated: Apr 23
Date: April 3, 2021
Member’s Meeting: Zoom conference call
Speakers: Joe Baker, Show Submit, and Tony Allain, Judge for the 2021 Member Show
Host: Dasha Jamison, President Red Rock Pastel Society of Nevada
Subject: Recap of presentations made by Joe Baker and Tony Allain
The members of the Red Rock Pastel Society of Nevada (RRPSN) gave their full attention to two guest speakers during the April 2021 member conference call meeting. The following is a recap of the presentations made by Joe Baker and Tony Allain.
Joe is the creator and owner of Show Submit, a web-based entry system for the online submission of artwork to juried exhibitions. His services include the management of the data entry and artwork image submissions as well as providing an online jurying system. Show Submit is utilized by all types of art organizations including many of the pastel societies in America today.
After a career as a violin maker, Joe told the group he was able to spend more time developing his own artistic abilities. He was most inspired by a famous artist within his own family, the renowned Frank Weston Benson (American Impressionist 1862-1951).
Joe began painting with watercolor and oils and was instructed by Frank Federico who introduced him to soft pastels. As a member, Joe soon became “the computer guy” for the Connecticut Pastel Society which became a catalyst for creating Show Submit.
Regarding his artistic style, Joe says it’s ever-evolving. Being exposed to thousands of images of artwork he says is both stimulating and overwhelming. Recently, Joe has been delving into more abstract work, a slight departure from his past representational style. As a side note, Joe says he is open to selling his company, which would provide him even more freedom to explore and develop his artwork.
As a tip for the group, Joe said the biggest stumbling block for submitting work is in resizing images (FYI, the maximum image size is 2MB). He points out that while computer programs are ever-changing, guidelines on his website are there to help an artist through the process. And, if anyone gets stuck…he or she can contact him directly by email or phone. It’s important to pay attention to each show’s requirements as they may differ. Many artists agree, his website is very user-friendly for both the individual artists and exhibition organizers.
Later in the meeting, Joe also addressed a recent clarification in several groups’ prospectus. The following is from IAPS:
“In its pursuit of exhibitions of international excellence and distinction, IAPS encourages artists to enter new and fresh paintings. We recommend that you submit work that has not been included in a national show during the last 12 months, and has not won an award in any previous exhibition. We suggest that you not submit your entries into shows that will be running concurrently.”
“Concurrently” also includes virtual shows. As always, it’s important to fully understand each prospectus, as they may differ or may have changed from one year to the next.
Please note that the guideline above is for IAPS show (entry deadline April 10th). The new deadline for the Red Rock Show is May 5th and the updated prospectus can be found here.
Tony is a well-known pastelist and currently resides in Scotland. He is the judge for the upcoming RRPSN’s 2021 Member Show. Tony told the group that he has been judging quite a few shows recently, at least a dozen in recent months. He wanted to share with the group his insight as to what a judge (himself in particular) looks for when judging a show.
Even though there can be well over 1,000 submissions per show, Tony says he enjoys viewing the many different genres submitted. Whether they fall into the landscape genre he is most known for or portraiture; still life; wildlife; realism; representational or abstract styles, he enjoys and appreciates them all.
Tony told the group his process is to go through every single image each and every day before the final award winners are determined. He moves images from the overall group into a “possible winners group” and moves images back and forth each day as he whittles away at determining the final winners.
The first thing he notices is the drawing skills, values, colors as they relate to each other and often can tell when a painting is painted from life.
While composition, values, color harmony, perspective, and drawing skills are critical factors to a good painting, Tony says he has three very distinct ingredients he looks for in a successful and potential award-winning painting.
Revelation - paintings in which an artist reveals a part of their own world to the viewer, something that made the artist think “wow” I’ve got to paint that.
Communication - a successful painting will communicate that same “wow” factor to the viewer (sharing the artist’s vision of what he or she wants the viewer to see/feel)
Celebration - through the use of values, color, perspective a painting that is composed in a way that draws the viewer in and (in essence) successfully “celebrates” the beauty of the person, place, or thing (or simply a mood) that is the subject matter
These “three bits of magic” captures the viewer’s attention and have the ability to draw him or her in from across the room, communicating the artist’s vision for the piece.
Tony also pointed out:
1. There are no secrets to producing a winning piece
2. Paint often and exhibit your best work
3. Don’t paint what other artists paint or in other artists style
4. Don’t copy from the classics