Monday, October 21, 2013

You Like This, REALLY?

Chatting with a friend I hadn't seen for awhile last night led to an interesting discussion. He was an artist that while starving decided to become a teacher. He has pretty much sidelined his art as I had let my "artistic" side stay on the sidelines when I worked full time. I did paint a few things and I showed them to him over the years as he had much more formal training than I did. He kindly observed that they were "nice" but still needed work. If I remember right, I was missing depth. I didn't try painting on canvas again for years.

Fall In Eaton Canyon
Showing him what I had been up to the past few year he was surprised at just how far I had come along. The discussion suddenly took a turn in a different direction as I skimmed past a painting I really didn't like. He stopped me and wanted to see it again.

This has been a painting done with my first formal teacher in oils from a pretty bad color photograph. It was pretty much washed out (that may have been the method to her madness) so we were encouraged to flesh in the colors. I did in spades.

He looked at it carefully, enlarging it on my phone and started talking about the things he liked. The depth for one. The way there were shadows and darkness behind the trees in the front. How it got even lighter with the foreground rocks. The colors and softness of the mountains beyond. It had great depth and the colors were quite believable.

To say the least, I was surprised. He looked at the others, said kind words about them but returned to this one, one that I considered throwing away. It was rarely looked at on my Etsy store and so figured since it's expired why waste another 20 cents?

This goes to show that when we create we always don't know exactly how it may turn out. Remember the rolled up Van Gogh recently "rediscovered" that he didn't like either? I guess, and this is true in art and life in general, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If there is any lesson here for me its that even though I am the creating artist, someone, somewhere may love it even if I don't.

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