Archive for December 6th, 2012

Yvette and Akshay at GC Myers'  JLG Show 2012Well, I’ve been back for a couple of days now and I’m still trying to recall details of our trip out to California, particularly those from the show at the Just Looking Gallery on Saturday evening.  I am trying to recollect the many faces and names and stories that flash in my memory, trying to make sure that I account them all properly.   For instance, here is a photo taken during the show  with Yvette and Akshay along with two paintings they chose from the show.   We had a lovely conversation during the show where I learned more about their lives  and their backgrounds.  While I know it’s important  to expound and to shed some light, if I can, on the work, the meaningful part of these shows for me  comes in hearing what people who find something of value in my work have to say.  I realize how fortunate I am to be in a position where I can listen, a position where people are willing to speak earnestly with me.

I really treasure getting to know more about those who collect my work.  I have often said that it comes in handy when I am working for long periods in the studio.  There are points when the whole act of painting becomes abstract to me and I begin to question the validity of what I am doing.  It can be troubling and I can begin to feel all alone in my studio, alone in my own world.  But it is at these points that I recall people such as Yvette and Akshay  or Mike and Lilia  or Marla and Josh or any of a number of other folks who I have met.   I immediately begin to feel reconnected to the work and less alone, as though there are eyes peeking over my shoulder as I work.  It’s a wonderful thing, one that has helped me many times.

Knowing this, it should be an easy thing to simply listen but at points during the show, when it is very busy and   time is very limited, sometimes I have to speak more than I listen.  I think it was Yvette who asked near the end of the reception how I was enjoying the night.  I replied that I got to talk on and on about myself so what wasn’t here to like?  I added that, unfortunately, I had to listen to that same guy talk all night and boy, was I sick of hearing him talk.

But I do try to listen if only because I think the need to be heard, the need to be recognized as part of this world,  is what drives this work.  I think many of us feel disengaged and voiceless at times in the whirl of the larger world.  My hope for my work is that it allows the viewer to feel once again connected to world, to feel as though there is someone listening to their words, their hopes, their dreams. Maybe that’s a little too much to ask.  Maybe but I can still hope.

So, to the many folks who shared a bit of themselves with me this past Saturday, I say Thank You.  You don’t know how much you’ve given me.

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