Tuesday, January 01, 2008

I was going through my photos and backing up data the other night when I came across the source material for two of my recent photorealistic paintings. I was amazed at how accurately I had reproduced the original photos onto the canvases. Well, that got me thinking about the non-photo-based painting that I do: the abstracts.

With the photorealistic stuff, people look at it and say, "Wow, you really can paint." They say that because they can compare the accuracy of my representation. And let me tell you, we all value an accurate representation. How do we evaluate a painting of the unseen? How do we compare it?

In answer to these thoughts, I gave myself a powerful "what if?" What if my abstract paintings are as accurately representational of what I'm rendering as the photorealistic paintings? Only, my audience can't evaluate that, so I'm going to have to trust this to be true. This "what if" is very freeing for me. It also helps me to realize how badly I want approval, still, for my efforts and intentions.

Another cure-by-words came to me today. The popular opinion is that artists don't really get famous until they die. How about I pretend that I'm dead, and then paint as if I'm popular? It's freeing to think this way. When I'm dead, I have nothing to gain or to lose. I don't need approval when I'm dead, and popularity helps me not at all. There's a freedom in dying, and I intend to use it to it's fullest extent while I am useful.