I was talking to a well-meaning person who was being jokingly negative about my artwork. No offense intended, just blundering humour that went a little too far, but the underlying attitude was a familiar one. You're not a real artist like _____ (fill in the blank with any number of "real artist" names), therefore your art has little or no value. Again, not what this very kind person intended, but a pervasive attitude about art in our society. If you aren't a direct descendant of Picasso, and/or have a Master's degree in fine arts what the hell business do you have picking up a paint brush? And more particularly, how can you have the audacity to actually like what you are doing or to be proud of the "art" you produce?
It's silly. It's so silly. Something that should be viewed as bread and butter simplicity and commonality, as everyone's territory, everyone's potential, everyone's right to make art, is instead, only for the elite and spectacularly talented few...otherwise you are just kind of making an ass of yourself. It's like saying that unless you can cook like Ferran Adria, you have no right to be in the kitchen.
What are the rest of us supposed to do? Starve?
And I realized that I am not having any of that nonsense around me. I put the kibosh on that joke quicker than you could say "Whistler's Mother". I am just not going to accept any negativity or non constructive criticism when it comes to my creativity (and really how much criticism is actually constructive?!). I am making art out of the best that's in me. I am new to it. I don't know much. But I have just as much right to make art as the most seasoned artistes, trained in the finest schools. And my artwork has value, and so does yours.
8"x11" art journal page, done with acrylics
PS For those of you who have asked about a copy of my story, thank you so much. :) I wish I had author copies to give out to all my friends and family, but alas, with self publishing you pay for everything yourself. So I am figuring out how to make copies available at cost to anyone who wants them, and will post about it here soon.