A Life in Paint
It's Friday, so, its time to have some fun. I've done an artist pet peeve post before, a couple of them, and there were some things that didn't make either cut but deserved mentioning. These are the types of things that can really make the steam come rolling out of my ears. This is all meant in fun, so just take it in the spirit it's intended in. I'm not a mean guy, really, I've actually been told I'm quite nice. However, we all have little things that are uniquely annoying based on our professions. There are just quite a few of them in art.
1. Assuming what I do is easy: If I had a nickel for every person that has said that it looks easy to paint like I do and they bet they can do it too, I say, here's a brush, hey, have at it! I can assure you it's most definitely NOT easy, it's taken well over 20 years of practice, study, and hard work to do what I do. It looks easy because I'm a professional and often when someone is good at something, they make it look easy. Well, I watched one of those operation shows on t.v. last night and they sure made brain surgery look pretty easy. I mean, they really just had a guy come in and put the patient to sleep and then they just poked around his head a bit. See easy, so come on over, let me crack open your noggin and have a go, I mean, it looks so easy, surely I can do it. ;)
2. Criticisms That Are Offered Without Any Regard to My Style and (Seemingly) Any Thought At All: I get we all have opinions, and we all have different tastes. That's perfectly fine and it makes the world go 'round. But, when you start critiquing my art by saying things like, "well, it doesn't exactly look like a (whatever)," or "the lines should be more defined", or, "I don't get the shadows, they're not how they should be given the people in the piece.", obviously, you don't understand my work or my style. My work is never going to look exactly like anything, I don't do realism. And sometimes the shadows may not match up exactly to the objects casting them. If you've looked at more than, say 2, of my pieces, you wouldn't say any of those things because you'd know that my work is a combination of impressionism, abstract expressionism and some of the fantastical, surrealism.... It's my expression of something, and it often won't make sense if all you're looking for is a literal interpretation of something. It's deeper, more cerebral than that, it's supposed to make you think and feel. If you're looking for crisp lines and realistic depictions of objects and shadows, might I suggest a photo?
3. When My Supplies Don't Arrive On Time: I try very hard to anticipate my supply needs and order according to what I'm going to need before I run out. However, and sadly, this has been happening more and more recently, when I place an order with my favourite supplier and I expect an item to be delivered to my door in 2 days, and I get an email on day 4 telling me that whatever it is is out of stock and I'll get it next week ... well, that makes Carl angry! As you all know by now, I paint by mood. In other words, I paint when the inspiration hits and I keep going until that inspiration has produced the desired expression on canvas. The last thing I want to do is stop in the middle of that because I have to go all the way across town to get white freakin' paint! No one wants to be interrupted in the middle of something they're really into and I'm no exception.
4. Assuming I'll Always Donate My Work: I have, on occasion, donated work to causes that I've found worthy. And in those instances, it was likely because it was a cause I could really get behind, something that touched my heart in some way. I'm not a mean guy. However, sometimes people mistakenly assume that because I've done it for "such and such" charity, I'll keep doing it over and over for everything. There are some people out there that are very active in a lot of causes. That's great, and I'm glad there are people like that, willing to give so much of their time. However, just because I donated a piece to one initiative doesn't mean I will donate one every time you ask for every cause you're into, or that I'm automatically going to donate to your cousin's best friend's brother's who has heard I donated to XYZ, baseball team's lobster dinner raffle. These paintings are my work and essentially, my money. They are how I eat, if I give them all away, who will donate to the Feed Carl fundraiser?
5. Assuming I Will Do a Live Performance: There's nothing like being included in a show or an event and then hearing, "oh, and of course, you'll be doing a live demonstration..." No, no I won't. Don't pull that crap on me like that. Asking me first, up front and us having a discussion about whether it's a requirement for participating in the event and then me deciding what I'm going to do is fine, I have no problem with that. It's the after the fact assumption that grinds me. As a rule, I don't like to "perform". My painting, as I've said many times, is a messy process and I do it spontaneously, as and when the mood strikes. I am neither a trained seal nor a performance artist, please don't assume that I am, you know what they say about those that assume.
Well, there you go, more pet peeves from me. I hope you've had a good chuckle.