Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Zoiks! Where did the time go? ...

Participated in a local art show held last month -- garden themed, hence the tulip painting. It's an oldie, reminding me that the painting part of my artistic life has been neglected. For me the imprecise dance of color is a mind-clearing celebration. But the opening reception was less celebration, more shrinking violet.

The few abstract paintings were clustered together. In the back. In the shadows. (See above.) People had to make an effort to get back there. My painting was mislabeled "Tulips" instead of "Tulip." (Yes, it matters.) The judge, a watercolor painter, announced she didn't care for artists who used paint right from the tube. (But...what if those are the colors you need? Why is that a judgment on ability? Reminded me: I once heard a disgruntled art student complain that her professor told her she couldn't use purple. Huh?)

I started to feel like crabgrass in a perfectly pruned garden of meticulous, flawless flowers. Saving grace: Meeting another artist who paints to perfection but admires abstraction, who pointed out that during the day, when the reception was originally supposed to be held (snowed out), my painting held a prime spot for lighting. (See below.)

Hello, forgetting to look at things from another perspective? And my nametag said I was an artist.

Oh, purple-haters, color-from-the-tube haters: Keep your blue ribbons. Art is about love.


Colleen Sutherland, storyteller said...

The question is: did you feel joy as you painted? Did you really see the tulip, every color and nuance of it as you worked? During that time were you alive to what you were doing? If yes, to heck with the rest. I don't suppose any of the impressionists ever won a ribbon of any kind.

The point is to make a difference, not to be the same.

Purple Houses said...

Thanks, Colleen. I really did. That's a great way to put it -- "alive" to what I was doing. The world makes it easy to be absent, disconnected, and art allows us to bring ourselves and others back to life (in more than one sense.)