Voices

It takes courage to paint, to express yourself that way and put it out there for others to see and comment on.”Carla NeggersThe Rapids, pg 361-62Image

Occasionally, a statement in an unlikely place can jump out and grab your attention.  The above quote, in a suspense fiction novel, provoked such a response.  It does take courage for an artist to put art out there for others to comment on.  Comments can warm the heart. Comments can hurt.  Sometimes, comments just baffle.  Yet artists continue to put art out there exposing themselves to the various opinions of others.

At a large gallery opening several years ago, a friend and I wandered around picking up on the conversations of others about the exhibited art.  Many times it was difficult to understand what the heck people were talking about!  Some of what we heard was down right funny.  Other comments were very interesting, good and bad.  We heard a full range.

When artists hear these comments, what are they feeling?  It may depend on the artist.  A film on Georgia O’Keeffe late in her life asked her how she felt when critics wrote about her work.  Her response, “I never read what critics say.”  It takes courage for artists to continue to express themselves in their work regardless of what others say, even though it might stick in your thoughts.  Perhaps, it’s better to ignore the voices in your head, in this case.  The rest of the time you’re on your own!

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