Thursday, August 09, 2007

little green men

I've had time lately to spend time on my artwork, which is a good thing. I need time, I need to work. Going to a meeting of a local art group I'm a part of reminded me of that. It has been hot here lately and very humid. And our meeting was in a room that had no fans, what felt like no ventilation and no air conditioning. I came in with a drawing I had to drop off for one of our exhibit chairs to take to the place we'll all be having our yearly show. I felt confident and was fine, until another artist and friend of mine walked in with his drawing. My colored pencil work is done on colored paper. I make the paper color just another color in the drawing-it's a trademark of my work and something I've worked long to perfect. Well, imagine my surprise when my friend walked in with a drawing on this bright red paper. It's fine, no law against someone else doing what I do, but I could feel something inside-a little green guy starting to jump around in my mind, whispering things. And somehow I thought my foot just might slip and end up right in the middle of the red paper.

The little voice only continued to get louder the longer the meeting went on. This man has had a spectacular year, garnering exhibit opportunities and awards. I know that is wonderful. He designed our brochure with one of his drawings on the front of the trifold. No problem. Or so I told myself. But as the sweat trickled down my temples, resentment threatened to melt me completely into a fire of jealous rage. He got into the international show I have tried for for seven years running. He took best of show in the local venue I had hoped I'd do better in. He was singled out by a top artist for our self-portrait project, mini drawings that were displayed at the big show in Maryland. I was the only artist who drew myself from life. And he did it all on colored paper, my paper, my idea!!!

I left the meeting feeling so frustrated, so angry, so totally outclassed I didn't know what to do with myself except plop down in front of the tv and stew in my juices. Now there's a creative solution. I had to sleep on it, and when I did get up in the morning and sat silently in prayer, some things came to mind. First of all, what I do is me. I have to get better and try harder. The look of my work is still vastly different than anyone else's. It is mine. No one can take it. One of my dear art instructors, the man who taught me how to paint, was fond of quoting Judy Garland, to the effect that we need to be the best version of ourselves and not a second rate copy of someone else. Then I realized I need to be a servant. How much have I really given to this organization that puts on the shows and makes all this possible for us? Not much. And I need to support my friend. I also need to learn from him. He is always entering shows, keeping up an art blog, working to learn more, honing his experience with computer photography, all this...I'm just plain lazy in that department. We had a call for images to be mailed for publication. If I don't get off my rear and get cd's of my artwork done, I've got nothing to complain about.

Oh, well...back to the drawing board.


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