Acrylic, pen and polyurethane on wood paneling.
I took this painting to a good home today, a fellow artist, broke and struggling within the confines of art school (hope she doesn’t mind me saying that). I also ran in to Ken Gordon today, who brought Ashley McNeil (above patron and artist) to my art party at the MOCL. Further more, I saw my art class supervisor for the honours program Lynda Gammon, just yesterday, first time in a long time (I graduated in 2003). What does any of this have to do with this painting? Nothing really.
But Lynda and I talked about how there are all kinds of artists, coming from all kinds of angles, and just because you’re not showing in galleries in NYC doesn’t mean you’re not an artist. Ken talked about how Ashley is feeling like her paintings are lacking in depth, even though she has the skill, to Look and see and draw from that. Looking and seeing are essential. Ken sees a bar stool and can play out a theatrical bar stool *smash* interpreting the political angst in Afghanistan. I see relationships, tensions, love, stories in photos and between drawings and animals I draw, and just in flaws and marks I make. I am sure Ashley is on the tip of finding what speaks to her. Don’t give up Ashley! School is intimidating, but what’s worse is how we fight ourselves and prevent ourselves from making stuff, and stop looking and seeing magic. It’s there Ashley in you, I am sure of it.
Cheesy and long winded, yes.
But man, art school was SO HARD, because I was very very bad at taking criticism. I cried a LOT. Looking back, I think they were just trying to get me to talk about my work. I didn’t get that my work wasn’t speaking to them, or that I needed to explain it. Was it empty? No, it’s full of stuff, it’s just hard to explain, especially without knowing the jargon, without knowing myself very well, without much confidence, and with 3 professors staring at you blankly, waiting, arms crossed, laser beams shooting out of their eyes. Thank god that’s over. And since I’ve been out of art school I have seen very few laser beam eyes, but I do avoid them. I try only to see people who like my art, and so far those are the only ones who have found me and showed up at my openings. Phewf.