A CONVERSATION WITH MYSELF ABOUT ART
“What’s this about art? I thought you were a writer.”
“Oh, I am, I am. Both.”
“Well, gee whiz, WHY?”
“Because I’m curious, I guess. When I was a college co-ed I had a list of things I wondered if I had any aptitude for. It was my bucket list, before I had ever heard of such a thing. But it wasn’t a list of a thousand. Oh, my, no. It was art, writing, modern dance, Spanish, ceramics, photography, architecture (well, architectural drawing), and watercolor, which I wasn’t very good at, a poor choice for a beginner. Then there was oil painting—lots of it, life drawing and five semesters of sculpture.
“I ventured into acrylics on my own. Having had most of my painting experience in oils, I didn’t think it would be much of a problem. I surprised myself when I felt I wasn’t in control of the medium. I wrinkled my nose and said, ‘I can’t do this. It’s too slippery.’”
“Don’t you work in acrylics any more?”
“I definitely do! I found that it is such a versatile medium. I could paint it thickly, as I did in oils, or loosely, as in watercolor. Heck, I can even pour and throw it, and have happy accidents all over the place. It’s a different approach. You don’t—at least I don’t—plan the painting ahead of time. It requires intuition, quick thinking, a knowledge of composition, balance and color, a sense of freedom, and no fear. If you don’t get pleasure from your work, then what’s the point?”
“Yes, I especially enjoy my forays into the abstract.”
“I don’t understand it.”
“You don’t have to. Don’t worry about it. Maybe you like something about it. Does it remind you of anything, or do you like the design, or maybe it has some of your favorite colors?
“Maybe not, but that’s OK, not everybody likes abstract art. They automatically turn and walk away because it bothers them not to see something recognizable. I’m fortunate that I appreciate almost all art. I especially like the drips and splatters.”
“That’s a definite yes. That reminds me of the day I walked into a flooring company store and said to one of the eager salesmen there, ‘I want the ugliest tile flooring you have.’ He looked surprised as I continued, ‘I’m an artist, and I want the tile for my studio so that if I spill paint on it, it won’t be anything but an improvement.”
His enthusiasm made me smile. “I have exactly what you want,” and he reached for a blackish square with a few smears of who-knows-what colors streaked through it here and there.
I nodded my head approvingly. “That’s ugly!” Then, “I’ll take it.”
I’m quite comfortable with it. No worries. I have a friend who meticulously covers the carpet in his studio every time he paints. I don’t have to do that.”
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genekgarrison.com by Gene K. Garrison is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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Note: Gene K. Garrison is a member of the International Society of Experimental Artists, SAGA (Sedona Area Guild of Artists), the Sedona Arts Center, and has her work online at gene-garrison.artistwebsites.com.