She reads a book in the wild wind…

It’s always a bit scary the first time you put a painting out there for the world to see.  It used to just be me and maybe my dad in the room.  I’d take the five hundredth rendition of a in iris to him for his critique…he’d always have some sort of constructive criticism…  Eventually I took a class and learned about critiques that way.  I’m fond of remembering taking a drawing class when I was around nineteen or twenty.  It was at 8:00 in the morning which really offended my nineteen year old sensibilities.  I’d say I managed to attend about half the time.  But, I always turned in my assignments!  When the end of the semester came we were to present a final drawing done in one of the styles we had learned over the semester.  I put it off until the last minute, as usual, but I did finish it.  Probably around 3:00 in the morning of needing to be there at 8:00.  It was a grid drawing of a photograph of my brother from when he was in a play when he was a kid.  It was a pretty good drawing! (I even ended up framing it and it hangs in the hallway of my mom’s house now.)  However, I got to class late, and became overwhelmed with shyness.  I didn’t want to go in front of the class after everyone had already gotten there and gotten theirs up.  So, I waited.  And at the end of the class I took the drawing to the teacher and showed it to him.  He looked at it and kind of scratched his head and then sighed.  And then he said “You know, it’s really a shame because you have a lot of talent but you just don’t give a fuck.”  I don’t think I had ever heard a teacher swear up to that point.  It definitely made an impression.  I returned to my daily theatrical pursuits and didn’t think much about art for a few years.  He was right.  And then I picked up a brush…  and once again had to learn the art of listening to critiques.  At some point you get good at it…you are able to take the good with the bad and not take it personally.  Even so, the advent of the internet was not something I was prepared for.  At first I was tentative.  Eventually got used to it.  Eventually got pissed off that some people didn’t “get” it.  Eventually got to a point where I let it mostly roll of my back.  I always learn something from what people say.  The other day I posted this painting over at my posterous site…it’s sort of my testing ground, if you will.  When I’m not feeling up to a post (Hah! That’s hardly ever anymore!) I will post stuff there and try to limit my words.  I got one response from the delightful Bryce Fauble

(at this point I would point out that I saved this post to a draft. A couple of weeks later I have come back to it. Who knows where the time goes, but I do remember, sort of, where I was going with this post, and have tried to recreate the flavor here.  If only because I really liked the start of it. 😉 )

that interested me in that is asked me if this particular painting was done.  In a sort of abstract kind of way.  At first I thought that maybe it wasn’t….if someone asked me if it was done then by golly maybe I was missing something, right? But then the more I looked at it I realized there really wasn’t anything else to do.  The realization that some paintings are just poems, and some poems are just done….

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