Thursday, February 3, 2011

Stone Cold Crazy

...and learning to accept it. That's the great thing about getting older. I am perhaps a little wiser and am definitely more patient than when I was younger, but essentially I am the same chubby-kneed little girl, feeling awkward with every self conscious, over-analyzed breath. I think maybe that's just the way it is for us who fall on the hyper self aware, and excruciatingly sensitive side of the fence. I is always going to be a leetle crazy (and just you wait until those menopausal hormones hit! I have heard the tales from those older & wiser than myself). But like I said, I am learning to accept it. It, meaning myself as I am, nervous twitches, mad passions and all. One step forward, a little shuffle back and a lurch to the side, but always moving forward towards allowing myself to be myself without recrimination. And the greater the acceptance, the more humour and calm.

Example: Yesterday I posted an artwork in an online workshop for feedback. This is always slightly nervous making. Less so, the more I do it (the first time I needed a stiff drink and a lie down after I had, gripping that mouse like a rope over a precipice, finally willed myself to click send), but still you are putting yourself out there in a very tangible and personal way and it ain't easy.  So I posted, and I waited. Nothing. The teachers in this workshop are always incredibly prompt with feedback (and also always very kind and fair, but y'know that's a lot for my crazy brain to remember), and so I started to get anxious, checking my email with increasing frequency as the hours went by. Nothing. Bedtime comes, and still nothing. So dear readers, where does my brain go? (bearing in mind that my brain is crazy)

Why here, of course:

They're probably just busy.

They're probably just busy.

They're probably just busy.


 No, no, no they're probably just busy.

They ALWAYS give feedback really fast. IT IS SO AWFUL, THEY CAN'T EVEN FORMULATE A RESPONSE. THEIR EYES ARE SO OFFENDED, THEIR BRAINS ARE SO BOGGLED, THEY ARE IN UTTER DISBELIEF! THEY CAN'T EVEN FATHOM HOW AWFUL IT IS AND SO THEY ARE SAYING NOTHING IN ORDER TO BE POLITE (and because of the boggled brains problem, obviously). yeah. Welcome to my brain. So I went back and analyzed that artwork very carefully. I can see flaws. I narrowed it down to 3 things I would change slightly, but just slightly, and in all I like it. I achieved the look and feel I wanted. I am quite happy with it. So Ms Crazy Brain decided that even if the teachers, who are great teachers whose talents and opinions I respect very much, don't like it, that I still do like it and that's alright, and with that Ms CB took herself off to bed and didn't give it another thought. Because while I am so crazy that I can certainly entertain the thought that I have possibly created the WORST PIECE OF ARTWORK EVER KNOWN TO MANKIND, I am also just crazy enough to decide I like it anyway. So I went to bed with a light heart, watched a little tele, fell asleep reading some Terry Pratchett and forgot all about my Anguish and Suspense, and my poor little artwork.

Until this morning when, still without a response, it occurred to me to maybe double check that I was subscribed to the feedback discussion in the first place...

Oh, you totally know how this ends without my even telling you.

Ms CB was not subscribed. There had been overwhelmingly positive feedback from my teacher within an hour of my posting, and then many more comments and compliments from my fellow classmates all so glowing that I was blushing at the screen and didn't even know how to properly respond (but that's a whole different flavour of crazy for another day).

What the hell is the moral of this story? And why have I wasted half a morning telling it?

That getting older, while still no less full of angst and self doubt, I am more and more ready to own my place in the universe, and if that place is Maker of Art So Bad It Renders the Viewer Speechless OR Maker of Art That Garners Kind Words & be it. I'll be making art either way...and making stupid blunders...and jumping to crazy conclusions...and agonizing and analyzing, persevering and proselytizing because that's just me.

Each of us inevitable; Each of us limitless - each of us with his or her right upon the earth; Each of us allowed the eternal purports of the earth; Each of us here as divinely as any is here. 
-Walt Whitman.

The artwork in question...

Obsolescence, 9"x11" mixed media on canvas board 


  1. i never took you for a badass art rebel. my mistake. this is a very masculine, a step towards something? it's very hard, a bit detached. the clinical greenish hue...the serial number is ominous... frankly? this one disturbs me.

  2. The title fits the artwork (which I appreciate), the artwork leads to philosphical musings on overly-technological times and getting back to simpler times. The touch of rust is compelling. This work looks like something that would be accepted in one of the galleries where I sometimes exhibit. You should check around to see if there's somehwere you can enter "Obsolescence."

    As for critiques, the negative ones have been helpful to me. My mom pointed out a smear in one of my impressionistic winter scene images that thanks to her I corrected.

    And a fellow blogger posted a dislike of one of my obviously manipulated abstract fine art photos, then she felt so bad she deleted the comment from my blog ... which I wish she wouldn't have done, because not everyone appreciates the same type of art and her opinion was both courteous and valid. And guess what? It was that highly criqitued abstract that turned out to be my first fine art photo sold off the wall to a private collector during a gallery exhibit!

    As for you, I would agree that you are a Maker of Art, and that is what is important.
    And wish you much success!

  3. @ch I am indeed a rebel, only ranked slightly higher than Pollyanna and slightly lower than Anne Shirley in the grand scheme of things. ;) And disturbing...I like that.

    @Country Dreaming Hi, and thank you! And I just want to make it clear that I don't mind constructive criticism. I value feedback that points me in directions of improvement (as long as it is kindly given). It was the silence (self-created!) that I found unnerving, and got the crazy wheels spinning.

  4. I just laughed out loud at your crazy brain thoughts, because mine would have been right there with ya!!! :)

    I always love your work, but this is different...and i like the words "cool" and "detached" that ch used.

    Now, Off to go search "Obolescense"

  5. amen gerdsitah, AMEN! thanks for sharing your crazy brain for it lets me know that i am not alone in crazy brainage. you wrock <3 and the art is very scifi! quite different from your other work but still very you at the same time. go team arting =)

  6. ha! so something i would do too! and the discussion you had with yourself while *awaiting*(haha!) feedback? So like mine. Thanks for sharing - I feel better about my crazy dialogues now :)

    ps: that piece? AMAZING!for reals.


  7. Wow wow wow!! This is another one that needs to be hung up. Obsolescence. Perfect. The rust and the icing over. This winter is producing a *cold* that I really really like. These wintry ones should maybe be made into a book."Winnipeg Winter Oh Eweven. (That's for the alliteration.:-))

    And crazy brain? Did you think that was crazy brain? Oh oh. Really? Oh shit. Naww, maybe crazy brain but I don't care. We're not crazy. S'awright.

  8. I'm gonna hang this up. Is that allright? You won't need a gallery. Send prospective buyers over to my house! God! Where?! Oh I KNOW!!! latuh ppitf d

  9. See, I knew I wasn't the only one harbouring a bit o' crazy! ;) It's that vulnerability piece I think. Making art requires you to strip away the layers, and sharing it to reveal that naked self.
    And thank you, thank you. :)

    @ Deb re: the "cold" that's what I have been aiming for, letting my externals influence my painting more, so huzzah that it's happening! I would be honoured if you hung it up. Tickled pink!


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