Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Judgments in Shows

It's always interesting to me what judges say about work in shows.  Each one has his/her own opinion about the work so it's very subjective even if they say it isn't.  It has to be.  We are all influenced by different things:  our background, our family, our beliefs, our friends, our environment, our culture.  And on and on.  These influences affect our outlook and thereby our judging views. 

When I first started entering shows and teaching, I was always affected by the judgments of others.  Sometimes they seemed to be very nice and sometimes I thought totally off the wall.  I started realizing that it was their opinion and that was it.  Why be sad or mad or whatever about the comments made as long as I was happy with my work?  It didn't really matter.  I could take it as constructive criticism or not.  I could ignore it or cry in my beer for days.  It was my choice.  So I decided to not pay that much attention to them.  They were judging my work with the best perspective they had at that moment.  I really wouldn't want to be in their position.  Judging is so Judgemental! 

Anyway that brings me to the AQS Show in Paducah last week.  My piece Enter My Sanctuary was accepted in it which is always exciting!  I wasn't very happy about the way it was displayed on a side wall.  It's better seen directly head on.  I received it back home yesterday with the judges' comments.  One was "Perspective is problematic" which I think is the weirdest statement I could have received.  I created this from a pattern I made from a photo I had taken in France.  Maybe the balance of the earth that day was off and the judges saw it.  They may be more intuned to the Earth's rotation than I am.  Here are the photo and my piece.  I don't see any difference in them really.  The perspective is that the picture was taken head-on.  I don't get it.  I guess this is definitely where you have to take the judge's opinion with a grain of salt.  They were grasping at straws. 

Enter My Sanctuary 2013
My Photo for Enter My Sanctuary
So now you see the two.  This piece was a real challenge for me.  I didn't have very good foliage fabrics so I had to be creative with the ones I had.  I created the leaves individually and made the hydrangeas fresh and alive instead of the over-the-hill flowers of the original photo.  Maybe the judges didn't realize my shadow was a shadow.  I was very happy with my result and still am.  Here are some detail shots. 

I worked on this piece after my sister died and my daughter got married two days later.  It was a difficult time, and I needed a distraction.  I still love this piece and will always be happy with the way it came out no matter what any judges say. 


  1. First, I am a huge fan of your work. When I first ventured into watercolor quilts, I was greatly inspired by your doorways and windows. It gave me courage to try.
    Secondly, the judges comment is way off base to me. I think he/she needs their glasses checked! If there is a problem with the perspective, it is the judges perspective, because I can not find one. I love how the shadows draw me in and make me want to sit a while and enjoy the wonder you created here. And I won't even contemplate those tiny wonderful leaves, and flowers.
    Third, I admire your stamina to even enter these shows. And I whole heartedly agree that the judges opinions are just that....opinions. All that really how I feel about the piece and the meaning it projects.

  2. Lenore, your work is stunning and you are an inspiration to all of us.

  3. "Intune to the Earth's rotation." LOL. I love YOUR perspective. And your amazing quilts.

  4. I thought at first your quilt was the photo - it looks that real to me. Maybe that judge's day was off. It is a fabulous quilt.

  5. What an amazing quilt! I wouldn't want to be in a position to judge other people's art...who am I to say what's good and what isn't? I just know what I like is all, and I like your picture quilt. :)

  6. Lenore, your quilt is fabulous and not only does the perspective look just like the photo - I think your quilt improves on the photo. Great job! I'm looking forward to seeing you at Asilomar in 2015.

  7. I think I understand why the judge felt that way, because I had to look twice myself. At first it seems there are some stairs going up, but if you look better, you can tell it is a wall with a letter box and a tiny door. Could the contrast in the fabrics depicting the cement be too great? I understand judges are shown the quilts really fast, would this be the reason for the write-up? Disclaimer: I am not a judge and usually have my own problems with them! But I am from France and sure love all your beautiful quilts inspired by your travels in my country. Wish you had a book out with your methods!!!!

  8. Lenore: i hated the way your quilt was hung in that tight little space on a side wall. Quilts on the sides are at a great disadvantage for full viewing. I can't wait to start on one of your patterns i purchased at your lecture ( and paints and DVD!). It was great to see your works in person....arden

    1. It was not a great location for the piece to be hung. A side view is not good for something with straight on perspective.

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  10. I am in awe of your talent! As for the "Judges" I'll paraphrase a famous quote: "Those who can quilt, quilt. Those who can't quilt, Judge." Have a Blessed day and a marvelous--and productive---summer!

  11. Beautiful piece. It seems like I can say I am ignoring the judges comments all I want but as with any comments I hear about my work it is in the back of my mind either annoying me or making me question certain aspects of my work. Not very seriously really, but it is still there! But I still enter, mostly to share my work, and I still read the comments! I am pretty self-assured about my work, as I think you probably are about yours as it is lovely and well done, so the comments are as you said--just someone's opinion!

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