Sunday, July 27, 2014

On the Way to Somewhere

"On the Way to Somewhere"  14"x 14" acrylic on canvas
There are two family members that I always show my work to.

The first, my valued critic - who brutally tells it like it is every time, and so helps me improve my work - loved this one.  

The second, when I texted this image to her, did not respond for a good forty minutes.  When she finally did, it was with the word I was fully expecting.  "Interesting."  

She went on to say, "The man is scary looking.  Don't like this one as much as the one you gave me."  

She was referring to the other recent abstract that I posted in my June 29th post, here.  She loved that one. The funny thing is that my valued critic hated it.

So if I can imagine that each of these family critics represents 50% of the population, then I have 100% covered, don't you think?

28 comments:

  1. ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ·.•*•♫°•♫·.•ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ

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    1. :) Thanks Sadami, for hearing the music!

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  2. Ha,ha. I like them both, but the subjects are totally different from each other. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes, and this one is much bolder. The other is much softer.

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    1. They definitely differ in style. It's interesting that in both I just sort of let myself go, and was taken to two very different places. Thanks!

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  3. Dan - I really like this painting, but have to agree that the man is scary because he appears to be wearing a white mask. But that also adds to the emotion of the piece. Who is he? Where is he going? Is he up to no good? Why doesn't he want to be recognized? All of these questions immediately went through my mind and I did have a reaction to the piece, which is what artists want, don't they?

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    1. Thanks Shirley. This is so interesting, because I didn't see a mask at all. But it fits with what I feel the piece ultimately conveys for me,though in a different way than you have said. Once the art is "out there", your interpretation is as good as mine and it is a fine interpretation! I'm glad it was so thought-provoking and that you had a reaction, which is all I could ever ask for. Yes, this is what artists want! :)

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  4. Andy Warhol said “Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”
    Thank you for the lovely comment on my "Avoiding" blog post—It is so true!!!
    It is actually written in Sophies file at the vet—"butt muncher"...

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    1. Hah! Yes - let's make more art!! Thanks!

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  5. The artist is emerging! You are your own best critic.
    It's good to have trusted advisers too.
    Lovely piece, keep creating!!!

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    1. I hope the artist is emerging. What it feels like, is that I start one of these pieces with no idea where it will lead,and then a message emerges unbidden that I hadn't even expected, one that has meaning for me. It is like a pipeline to the subconscious. Thanks Pamo!

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  6. I was drawn to the colors… so bright and vibrant, my immediate reaction was good, happy, pleasant… frankly I didn't pay much attention to the figure in the painting… could have left him out or not… then I started reading everyone else's comments and took another harder look at the figure in the middle… and yeah I guess he is a bit scary, the mask and all (keep in mind I didn't even notice the mask at first)… So I like it, it has energy and color harmony and well if the man is an issue paint over him or don't.

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    1. Well I was surprised myself about the "mask" comment because it hadn't occurred to me at all! And at first, when I completed the piece, I was happy with everything but the man from a purely decorative perspective. In the end, he cannot be left out, because now it has all sorts of meaning for me that would vanish if he were removed. Glad you like it! Thanks Captain!

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  7. For what its worth, I really like it a LOT. Scary, no!

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    1. Thanks! I don't think it's scary either! lol.

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  8. I must admit I find this one a little scary despite the bright colours. Like in the movies, I feel like running upstairs whilst everyone in the audience says 'NO'

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    1. There is much about the piece that is uncomfortable on almost a subconscious level. And the more I've lived with it, the more I feel that this is where the meaning is. We can run, but we cannot hide!! Thanks Sue!

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  9. It's authentic, Dan. Your critic is spot on.

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    1. Thanks Melissa, it feels authentic. Nice to have the perspective of an abstract artist. :)

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    1. Well if this isn't the most perceptive comment ever. In a way my last several paintings have all ultimately been self-portraits, even the woman with the peacock! But this one is definitely the portrayal of an aspect of myself and my experiences of late, though unfortunately I do not share the physique. Then again, my skin is skin-colored, so I have that going for me! Thanks Joan!

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  11. What you have described (one person likes it, another doesn't) pretty much describes the entire put-your-art-into-the-world experience. Put me in the "I like it" camp...I like how the shapes in the background echo the shapes in the man.

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    1. I'm glad you have a broad perspective, Celeste. I didn't know how you'd feel about this recent turn of mine. Glad you like it. I am careful to achieve what, to me, is an aesthetic balance. As for the critics - I shared the story for the fun of it - I thought it funny how they have disagreed recently. Didn't bother me in the least. You have so much experience putting your work into the world. I'm just getting my feet wet! Thanks!

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  12. Me too. And I don't think the guy looks scary. I think he's deciding which way to go. I like the way you handled the street scene background. Colorful and energetic. I'm liking your move towards abstraction.

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    1. Now we are getting much, much closer to how I think of the piece. The "deciding which way to go" and even the identification of the background as a "street scene". I am so glad you like my move - I'll probably bounce back and forth from abstraction, but you all are making it so rewarding and it is so internally satisfying that I'll probably be painting abstractly for some time to come.

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  13. I think that abstract is open to interpretation, and people's reactions here show that. If you can please 50% then that's a job well done.
    To me the man looks scared, I can see the shape of someone behind him!

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    1. Well, I want to please myself first and then please at least one other sane person so I know I'm not nuts! Cathy, you hit the nail on the head (for me). I, too, think it is the man that is scared or uncomfortable. But I suppose that could cause him to put on defensive airs that could scare others too. And yes, I see the shapes of a few someones behind him! Thanks for your perceptive view, and for looking.

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  14. Richard Jordan said:

    I don't comment often here, but let me say that I like this piece. My first test of a piece of art is an immediate, "is this pleasing or does this affect me somehow". In this case the answer is yes and yes. The colours, composition and patterns are pleasing and the idea of the man in this context is disturbing and that's fine by me because it has emotional impact.

    I have spoken to many talented artists about their artistic evolution and to a one they have said that as they progressed in their art they moved toward the abstract in varying degrees. In my own journey I've come to appreciate the abstract expression of visual ideas more as time paseed. It seems to me that once one can produce a good realistic representation of an object, person or scene progress invites the abstraction of the idea. What's more important though is how you feel about it. There is no art that is universally admired with the possible exception of the long dead masters or the Renaissance. I really like Rothko but I certainly understand those who do not.

    I don't mean to say abstract painters are more advanced in their art, but that abstraction seems to be a human inclination to go beyond (I know that's a value laden term) realism and let the art free from some of the usual constraints of perspective, colour, shape and whatever else makes up our visual perceptions. A new language so to speak.

    I understand that this is a comeback after artistic funk for you. The rest was time well spent.

    For what it's worth, I liked Wild Flowers even more, but that's just me.

    Take care and keep growing.

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    1. Yours has been one of the most comprehensive, thoughtful, and thought-provoking comments in a long time, and I am so grateful that you took the time to write. It is also wonderful for me to hear that many artists have found that they must move towards the abstract. It was an unexpected turn for me, along with many other unexpected turns over the last year.

      It hasn't been an option for me either - I felt compelled to do it. It was not enough for me to paint realistically. As I discussed in an earlier post, I needed to convey the "real", and the surface image was inadequate to the task. After floundering for some time with ideas akin to surrealism, which did not interest me, I was moved to paint more abstractly. Your discussion of "visual language" which allows me to convey what is not easily expressed, is spot on.

      I was not bothered, by the way, by the conflicting ideas of my "critics". I only need someone somewhere to like it. And, as you say, I need to like it. Or it's a paint-over. And I do like it (though it even had to grow on me!) I am glad that you do to, and I am glad that you like Wildflowers better. I wrote about their disagreements because I found it funny, not because I was bothered by it.

      It is nice to know that folks like you are lurking and observing, because what I show on this blog is meaningful for me. Thanks so very much for your encouraging words and for visiting my blog.

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