Dogs and Cats


Escape, 10 x 10″ Acrylic and Spackle on Ilustration Board

“In order to keep a true perspective of one’s importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him.”

– Dereke Bruce

Praise and blame – occurrences in our daily lives that are certainly not limited only to artists. But as artists we put our efforts out there repeatedly and essentially invite praise or blame. So it’s good to develop some techniques to deal with it.

I suppose one could take the advice given above and become a pet owner. The personalities of dogs and cats definitely capture the dichotomy well!

Usually we focus on how to handle blame – it’s easy to handle praise! But they are two sides of the same coin, and the degree to which you relish praise, you will likely find it hard to withstand blame.

The Buddha had some advice:

“Praise and blame and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a great tree in the midst of them all.”

Think of yourself as a tree, one with deep roots that will protect you from the blowing winds of praise and blame. Treat each with the same (dis)regard.

I’m telling you this as a reminder to myself. I’ve recently submitted this new body of work to our local juried Open Studio art event and will hear in a couple of weeks whether I’ve been accepted. I’ve tried to do this before without success – I’ve tasted the jurors blame. No matter what happens, it will be an opportunity to contemplate my reaction to the praise or blame.

Who knows, I may soon be paying a visit to my local pet store!

5 responses to “Dogs and Cats

  1. Bob, you can ignore this praise if you want to, but I think your new paintings are superb, and if you don’t get into the show, you don’t need to be in it. So, there you have it.

  2. Mary

    Thanks! I won’t ignore the praise, just accept it like a wind blowing over me (a most pleasant breeze, I might add).


    No – it’s the same event. You have to be juried in separately in each category. I was juried in many years ago for photography but not painting – unless and until I am juried in for painting, I am not allowed to show paintings at the event.

    Technically speaking I could try to get in in 4 different categories – photography, painting, monoprinting and drawing (pastels). I do too many different things I guess….

  3. The fickle finger of fate when submitting artwork to a show is just that. Everything can’t get in. There must be some work that is ‘declined’ though it feels like REJECTED! It took me years to get over feeling crushed by not being included- that and being included on more than one occasion. The intermittent rewards are similar to playing the lottery.
    In a recent set of shows a friend won a prize in one and had two pieces rejected from the other. Go figure!

    I like your varied styles and your sensitive use of color and shape in the recent work is wonderful- I hope the jurors agree.

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