Friday, January 30, 2004
Today, I'm just really have a tough time dealing with painters.
There are different kinds of painters. Some are artists, hoping to splash a canvas with vision, with good story, with some scene to behold, some portrait to embrace. Others are more utilitarian, painting walls to match or to coordinate with the couch, or bringing some color to cover the sterile pale hospital-yellow of the last residents of the house. Some folks specialize in painting the outside of the house, making it look great to prospective buyers and covetous neighbors. Others do wonderful jobs painting cars, doing body work and making each vehicle a piece of traveling speck-free art. And then there's finger-painting, my personal favorite, as we approach the paper and the paint and all of life as a child - love to get messy in there.
All of these painters have their callings, their abilities, their talents, their particular ways of doing what they do with the tools to do it right. So it really bugs me when I watch and follow and look forward to what's being created - and then it goes... wrong, somehow.
Say you're painting a wall blue - that's fine, hope it goes with the carpet and furniture, you know what you're doing. But when two-thirds of the wall is done, let's now shift to green, ok? Everything up to that point looks good, and I like how it's showing on the wall - it's all good. But why do we now switch to green? Run out of blue paint? No, just switching gears and thought patterns a little bit - got something against green? I like green - but we were painting blue on that wall, right?
Or maybe you're painting a beautiful landscape, with rolling hills and lush valleys, a mountain in the distance touched off with a crest of snow, maybe a river lollygagging across from upper left to bottom right, some rocks on the bank. Almost done? Hmmm... let's put a gas station right there on the shoreline. What? Yeah, maybe a little gas station, something to break the moment, give it a little class. What? That doesn't fit, does it? Sure, it does - and this is our painting, right? We're together, right? C'mon, fall in line - get on board with the gas station in the meadow. Can you feel it? No... not really.
I know I'm standing in judgment over what's being painted, and that at some level I'm placing myself in judgment over the painters. So if that's where it ends, I've got to deal with my own pride, my own superiority thingie that is blinding me from what might well be the exactly right way of doing what they're doing. Maybe I missed something. Maybe I didn't get the memo, you know?
At the same time, I'm just not following the color schemes, the portrait layouts, the nuances and cadences of the how and why that's going on in producing what is ultimately "art". While the room is being painted, I love the blue, and I'm really kind of fond of the green - but why did he paint that way? I love nature scenes, and I've got nothing in particular against gas stations, or modern architecture in any form really. It's just that they don't seem to fit... right... somehow.... I tilt my head to the side, trying to get a new perspective.
I'm also not stuck on having to be "right" in this case. I'm no art critic; just commenting on what I see/feel, what I like/dislike. Not about to argue with the artist... just wondering, trying to follow, trying to fit into the picture being painted, you know?