But it’s ME.

“Who Do You Think You Are?” ©️Robin King

A few minutes ago, a TV commentator who’s been working from home and “the road” began his interview by apologizing for how nondescript his background was: 

I’m in a hotel room. Everything’s corporate gray. It’s not me.

How sad that he felt the need to apologize for the grayness of the room he’s in! No, it’s not his chosen color-level but so what? Why did he do that? Because everyone has a color-opinion and some people rigidly – and sometimes nastily – demand that all people agree with them. Not enough color. Too much color. Wrong color. Blabbity-blah. 

The blast of colors on the face up there are me. I’m not going to apologize, back off, mute, or otherwise dilute that me-ness. Maybe that’s the art of the thing? Maybe it’s simply the you and the me in what we do? Dunno. What I do know is that when I posted that face on a social media account last year, a person whose art opinion I respect told me that it was “…too colorful.” 

How is that possible? 

We discussed it briefly, then suddenly stopped. He said I was making a fool of myself, that it was TOO MUCH. He has color limits. I don’t. We remain mutually-respectful online buddies but I suspect that we will never agree on colors. I can live with that. 

Now, with all of that out of the way, here’s what I planned for this post to be about: That face is a mix of my photography, acrylic painting, and digital painting. It doesn’t exist in our world unless it’s printed. I want to be able to paint that face so it will exist. Right now that’s a crazy dream. My painting skills are nearly as nonexistent as that face. The last time I painted I struggled to make any sense of the strokes. I couldn’t create what I wanted to create. Today I could not paint that face. Maybe I’ll never have the patience to learn how to paint that face. And maybe I don’t have to, given that I already made that face. Maybe digital compilations of my own work are my limit.

That’s what this post was supposed to be about. But it’s a whiny rehash of the past and an amorphous daydream of the future. Pointless. 

Maybe what it ought to be about is how very personal “art” is, how it is – at its center – us. Maybe the me-ness of my art, whether it’s painted or poured or cut or sculpted or photographed or drawn or compiled, is the art. Maybe that’s why everyone has an opinion. And maybe that’s why those opinions can hurt and buoy and inflate and decimate: because they’re not about what we do but about who we are. They’re about us.

I can live with that, too. But I can’t live without bright colors. They’re – well – me. 

 

“Mike When He Had That Bright Idea”

This piece is one of my personal favorites. I based it on the face of a boy I met in junior high school. His face showed every emotion he felt and when he had an idea – especially a good one – EVERYONE knew. He’s still alive so I suppose his face is distorted by wrinkles like mine is. I hope his emotions still shine through!

Here’s to Mike, the most talented choral accompanist (and best giggler) I ever met: