12/02/2005: "OK I'll admit it...I'm not great at taking criticism!"
Yesterday I got an email from a woman who has purchased several of my paintings in the past (both figurative and alluvial landscapes). She wanted to know where I'd be showing for First Friday. I told her I was taking time off from exhibiting but that I had some examples of new works in progress up on my website. Her exact comment was:
"Very cool, Elise!
What prompted you to use flesh tones for your women, rather than the variety of colors? I'm curious about that. The women become "realistic" in flesh tones as opposed (in my mind) Everywoman in the fantasy colors. But that's just how I read your use of color -- most certainly not a criticism. I always love your work."
Now, I read that comment yesterday and I instantly interpreted it as criticism. I do figurative work and as you can see in some of my past shows, I used to have more abstracted figures and totally made up colors. One show was even called Flesh Tones and part of the thinking was to get away from the issue of race and individuality and instead try to represent women in more of an iconic, universal way.
I think whenever you change (in this case, I don't know why I started making more realistic colored women...it wasn't a concious decision at all) the way you work, there are those who will like it more and those who will like it less.
After re-reading her comments though, I realize they weren't really even negative, just curious. I wonder why I feel guilty about changing the way I work and read everything as criticism?
To make matters worse, there has been a less than enthusiastic response to my "Art in Alaska" magazine proposal. I sent out a ton of emails to artists and gallery owners etc. all over the state and so far, only a handful of people who know me personally, have responded.
I'm not going to give up though, no one *has* to be involved in it, obviously. But, today I feel drained. I've been riding this way of creative energy and today....nothing. I'm hoping that by going out and seeing all the great work being done for Gallery Walk, I'll feel reinvigorated...in fact, an eggnog latte might help as well.