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. 

 

Paper Face (Part One)

Tempera paint sticks and paper – work-in-process

Have you ever tried tempera paint sticks? They’re what I used to sketch this face. It’s the foundation for what will be covered with bits of torn (and cut) paper. I love tearing pieces of paper then assembling them into something else. At this point I don’t know how much of the tempera face will show through the paper or how much I’ll leave uncovered. Everything depends on how the paper pieces and the paint react with the glue. It’s an exciting process! 

All the Grass

“The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

This week is half over and I have to get back to work. I plan to paint and to work on a collage that will eventually be part of a tradigital piece. You can see details from both of them above. They don’t seem to have much in common, do they? Well, OK. Eyes! Both have eyes. Otherwise, the two activities aren’t very similar.

But that may be the point.

When I’m painting I “really” want to be working with mixed media (mostly paper) to make collages. When I’m snipping bits of paper I “really” want to be making gooey paint marks on canvas. Is that a failing? Or it is a natural extension of a curious mind? Or maybe it’s what happens when there’s surfeit of options but a dearth of self-control. Dunno. 

What I do know is that I love all the grass, green or greener, or even crispy brown. It’s all good in its time.