Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mistakes and Repurposing

I've had ups and downs in my studio - some spectacular failures, some quiet ones that didn't reveal themselves till a few years down the road (those are the worst because then you feel like a bit of a fool).  I've made work that is out of step with the zeitgeist, received copious rejection letters; it's all a little painful when you're a consummate people-pleaser like me.

I'm not really sure how other people fare.  We don't seem to often lift up our shirts and compare the thousands of tiny scratches.  Maybe other artists don't suffer those little cuts as much as I do, or maybe it just doesn't make professional sense to be constantly revealing your soft pink underbelly.  I find myself wanting to distance myself from those feelings even as I write this.

Like any good story about weakness and failure, this one has a redemptive ending.  

Twelve Little Mistakes, 2012, oil on canvas, 34" x 46"

Twelve Little Mistakes is in the 56th Mid-States Art Exhibition at the Evansville Art Museum in Evansville, Indiana.  The juror for the exhibition is Peter Plagens - one of my most favorite painting / art critic / curmudgeons ever. It was his involvement that made me want to submit for the show. Cherry on top?  Mistakes won an award!

This work was born out of disgust with a series of paintings and I like that it has a second life as an illustration of frustration.