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Monday, February 13, 2012

Respect Yo-Self...avoiding a group mind-set...Chameleon...a self-portrait

Chameleon   Oil/Canvas   20 x 16
Learning to respect yourself is, I believe, a lifelong process.  So is finding your own voice in the creation of visual art.  The big....very big...journey.  Eventually, the artist must feel secure enough in her/his own decision-making to ignore external criticism.  Competition in the form of art exhibitions is inherently a L-brain ritual....separating the work into categories:  the top winner, the peripheral winners, the accepted and the not-accepted.  All of this categorizing runs counter to the R-brain function of art-making where the pleasure is in the process, in the doing of the thing.  So, it has become my opinion that one should only enter competitions if the ego is strong enough to handle rejection.  In the circles of art groups, whether local, regional or national, the jurying is undertaken by those of like minds, with like-minded art.  The true art maverick may just have a harder time getting into the competition.  In some ways, the work in the group has been homogenized into a group mind-set that determines their own particular notion of quality art.  But we R-brainers know deep inside that art that is totally personal often cannot keep pace with that group mind set.  A contradiction to be sure.  The prize in art making is internal.  Nothing should stand in the way of is just too sacred.

Chameleon was painted many years ago as a small, very small, step in self-respect.  After a lifetime of being called a paleface, I painted this work in front of my studio window during a raging snowstorm....I guess just to prove that I did, in fact, have color.  It's all a matter of opinion.

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