Archive for March 23rd, 2012

Beauty Scorned

I was going to write about something  different but came across this older image and completely lost my train of thought, this piece replacing everything that I had been thinking.  It’s a smaller painting, maybe 6″ square,  that sold many years ago but has lived in a larger sense in my thoughts ever since. 

It’s titled Beauty Scorned and is a relatively simple piece.  But there’s something in the the bend of the twisting tree trunk that really speaks to me in a very poignant way, as though it is a pure physical expression of some deep emotion.  Beauty and sorrow. 

For me , I see this as being about perceptions of beautyand acceptance.  About how we often conform, like the other trees which are so much alike here, and step back from that which is different, seeing not the beauty in it but scorning it because it is unlike us.  The difference is the beauty. 

I remember when I did this piece, feeling that this was symbolic of my own work at that time.  It was often different from the work of other painters with which I showed and I was still unsure of the validity of my own voice, often feeling that my work was somehow inferior because it wasn’t painted in the same manner, didn’t have the same look as these others. At the time,  I felt like my work and my voice was truly tied to this twisting tree and those who dismissed it because it had a different look were missing the beauty and emotion that it may hold. 

Just seeing it again, summons all of these thoughts in a rush of feeling.  It remains a potent piece for me for this reason.  It also has a sad memory in it.  When I see this piece I am always reminded of the couple who purchased it and were avid and encouraging collectors that I always looked forward to seeing at shows.  They later divorced and the wife would still come to the shows, always so happy for and encouraging of my work.  Tragically, she passed away in a plane crash this past year and now, instead of seeing the scorning of beauty in this piece as I once did, I now see the beauty of this young lady’s spirit. 

It’s a different painting for me now but no less potent.

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