Polly Answers Your Questions (# 4 )

Polly Answers Your Questions (# 4 )
Polly Answers your questions #4 Leaves in Dappled Light (monoprint collage) by Polly Castor

How do you choose which of your many wonderful works to exhibit?

For my yearly one woman shows and my calendars, where I control the content, I choose my most recent work, which has been done since the show or calendar the previous year. This practice keeps me fresh, current, and engaged, and encourages my viewers, buyers, friends, and collectors to want to see or purchase what they have not yet seen.

For juried group shows, I offer paintings of in a hierarchy– the better paintings get offered to the highest level shows, and on down the line.  I have to be careful not to overlap submitting any given painting to another show, when it might get sold at a previous show. Often I submit more than one piece for jurying, when usually only one is taken, which means the unchosen ones shuffle into other submissions, unless I have something newer I’m excited about. These submissions are a bit of a juggle, balancing what might get in where, when honestly you never know what someone might select. Sometimes there is a painting I really like which was never chosen, and I’ll slide it to the top of the queue, giving it another chance.

There is no science about submitting to a juried show, and my best advice here is partly intuition, and also that the ones that resonate for you may resonate also with someone else. These submissions are especially complicated for me, since I’m entering abstract paintings to shows that are usually at least 90% representational, which makes it a bit of an uphill climb.

This is why it is such a joy to hang my own work in my one woman shows. It what to hang is so simple by comparison!

Can I hang your artwork in the sun?

Yes, except works in watercolor. I’m doing watercolors these days only in my art journals for that reason; they are in books that close, so are not exposed to much light. For this reason, in mixed media work, I use fluid acrylics to mimic watercolor effects, so the archival stability is increased.

I have a sunny home and hope you do too; I only want to paint in pigments that will last well on a bright wall. If I’m selling a work of art, it should happily outlive you, if not slashed or burned.

Cheaper pastels are not as lightfast, so I do not buy them anymore. For example, I have a gray tree trunk in my living room that was painted in bright pinks and reds, so I no longer use that brand.  I now only purchase top-of-the-line pastels. And as much as I’d love to use florescent colors, I don’t for they are not archival, which makes them not worth it to me.

Additionally, I have strong preferences about glass: it should have no glare. I exclusively use Tru-Vue Anti-Reflective (AR) glass, so there will be no reflections on the glass, and will not obscure my work in any lighting.

I like things bright and clear and aim to keep them that way for hundreds of years or more.

Why do you have such a large range of content on this blog instead of focusing on just one thing?

Yes, I know that if I only did art, or only talked about spirituality, or food, or books, or poems, this blog would be vastly more trafficked, have way more subscribers, have better recognition with Google (who doesn’t know what to do with this blog as it defies any algorithm)– even be profitable. And there are lots of people doing it that more specialized way. I follow people niched in each of those subsets, and appreciate what they do.

I guess you could say my niche is being multi-passionate. Authenticity is my one topic. Expanding my thought to include more good is what I’m interested in. I desire to amplify lots of good, and there is infinite good worthy of amplification, so it would be excruciating to me to close off any of it. I believe in being multi-faceted, and that you and I thrive more when allowed to be that way. So this blog is about us thriving, about loving life, about learning and growing and being grateful.

So I trust my reader to take what they like, and let the rest go. I often hear from folks regarding what parts they like, and it’s hugely different for everyone, but when you integrate all the preferences across the board, all parts are included in rather equal measure. Others read it all and tell me they’ve come to care more now about the bits that were not such a natural fit for them initially. I love that.

That’s the beauty of authenticity. We progress by watching others do so. Seeing them give themselves permission, helps us to feel we have it as well. Too much of the world is telling us to focus on only one thing. Who is telling you to diversify what’s good in your life?

It is an irony that by not wanting to be closed off and limit the topics of my content (okay, I limit evil and untruth, etc), I do tend to limit my audience. Not everyone is ready for something randomly healthy and good in their in box every day. But I guess that’s fine with me, because I hope for the kind of readers who do want that. I yearn to be whole-souled, and have the whole range of good count in this world. For fifteen years of everyday, I’ve been quietly building a place for that. And I’m so grateful each of you are here.

Ocean Petroglyphs (monoprint) by Polly Castor
I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. John+gregory 10 months ago

    I am amazed at your regiment. I wish I could capture a 10% of your zeal.

  2. Susana Brown 10 months ago

    I think your blog is terrific, Polly!
    I share your posts more frequently with my contacts than I do with any other blog or subscription.

    • Author
      Polly Castor 10 months ago


  3. Sue Krevitt 10 months ago

    I so agree, John+. Sigh.

    Mary Baker Eddy defines “Zeal. The reflected animation of Life, Truth, and Love.”
    -Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures 599:4

    For me, a good reminder that we all possess this true zeal, and therefore it is (humanly) demonstrable.

    We are all amazing.

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