I recently entered an open art exhibition, making my application online as is the way these days and including a professionally taken, high resolution image of my painting. I paid my fee, pressed submit and thought no more about it; my expectation, based on previous experience, was that I wouldn't make it through the pre-selection process (you've got to keep trying though, right!).
But to my surprise, my painting did make it through which meant my having to get the painting to the exhibition venue so it could be judged in the flesh for the final stage.
I have to say that I was chuffed and because I'd submitted a professional quality image of the painting for my application, I felt confident that it was going to get hung...but rejection soon followed and off I went to bring my poor painting back home.
Devastated and kicking myself for getting my hopes up I vowed to never enter another exhibition/competition again* - apart from the disappointment, these opportunities can be expensive by the time you've paid your application fee, travel expenses, tea, cake etc.
In the days after, once my pride had stopped aching, I realised that just because I had confidence in the image I'd submitted, there was every chance that the painting would look different in the flesh! I know this to be true and it's why I get anxious about anyone buying my work online or buying just from a photograph - no matter how good the photograph is they can't compare (good or bad) with the real thing.
I work hard to keep my studio space at Fisherton Mill; I love the physical connection it provides; If you see one of my paintings online somewhere, you can always view it at the studio with no obligation to buy it; to see the true colour and feast on the details.
For anyone not local to Salisbury, I have on several occasions, met prospective customers half-way somewhere, usually a car park, where they've viewed and purchased paintings from the boot of my car - it sounds a little illegal but it's not!
And the painting...found a new home after it was viewed several times at my studio.
* and I've just this week entered another open art exhibition...!