Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I Have to Apologize

Near the beginning of my art career, I had an exhibit, which I attended. A lovely couple was visiting that weekend and decided to stop by and view my artwork. After looking at each piece carefully, they approached me and the husband mentioned how he loved my painting "December Fields" and mentioned to me how it was interesting how it looked so realistic from far away and yet when he got close to it, all the detail melted away and it didn't make sense.

This is what I have to apologize for - I just smiled at him and said something like, "Yes it does do that, doesn't it?"

What should have happened was this: I smiled at him and talked to him a little bit about impressionism, and that my art focuses on finding the impression and feeling of a scene, rather than tightly rendered details. I should have explained that I used a palette knife for this particular painting because it captured the feeling I wanted. The light on the yellow stubble of the field, the blue tints of the snow and the mountains, and the dark reds of the barns. As an impressionist, I focus on light and color, not detail.

That is what I should have said. Then, if he found that information interesting, I could have shared the story about how this painting came to be:

My husband and I were travelling to Canada to visit my family one winter. We were in the middle of nowhere in Montana on some little country road, evening was coming on, casting beautiful light on our surroundings. The moment we passed these outbuildings, I was visualizing this painting in my mind's eye. I shouted to my husband to stop the car and turn around. We drove down a small, muddy driveway to get a better view of the barns. Since we were travelling, I had to take a photograph of the scene before me. Later, when I got a print made of the photograph, both my husband and I were extremely disappointed in how it turned out. Luckily, the memory was still fresh in my mind and I decided to give it a go anyway. I painted this piece over the course of a few weeks, many parts of which I had to repaint several times, but I finally finished. Once the painting was complete, I showed it to my husband, who exclaimed, "Wow! This is exactly what I was visualizing when you took the photograph!"

Perhaps if I had told this story to this gentleman, he might have purchased this painting and could be proudly displaying it in his home right now. I would like to apologize to this kind gentleman and let him know that I have learned much about art exhibits since then. I feel horrible that I may have cheated this man and his wife out of owning a piece of art that would bring them happiness throughout their lives. The entire reason that I paint is to bring joy to those who purchase my art by lifting their souls.

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