“Being nice is not the same as being good”– S. Sondheim

Thank you for reading and consider this Caveat:

I do love these artist’s, the vain, the  shallow, the deep, the seeking, and the self satisfied; plus they are not actively destroying society like so much of what goes for labor these days. Praise the Lord! for that. The pretty picture makers  do sell and please, which makes them happier and better artists, than me, I suppose. Many in this grand old building, the Stutz, I more than love, I trust artistically and as dear friends. Life within it’s beautiful walls is never dull!

It is the beginning of December. Day one and 3 working days until the holiday show. I have low expectations (sales or appreciation) knowing that my work is not accessible for most folk and likely no good anyway. AND here comes the crowd of the dulls looking for mundane gifts.  I sit here in my distracted brain feeling the need to trim my finger nails in order to type comfortably. I should have a good long walk this morn but need to get up to the Stutz to do the rest of the hanging and work on the large drawing. I have done a bunch on the ‘Aggie Has Her Heart Broke,’ painting. I also have to straighten the studio main and hang the paintings in the workPark. Flying straight into disaster but according to mr Banksy that is when the art is around. My Pride being: No sweet; twee; decoration art; that sort; is  loaded with very false sophistication. Pretty like candy, but makes you sick in your soul.

All that we truly value is monetized; sell sell sell sell, the lucre pile’s size is all that crosses the line, victorious. My dollars, for sales, put me, FIRMLY, in last place. “If your work is valued, people will pay you for it.” Or more pointedly, “ It is not a gift if nobody wants it.”

Yes, I will cry on Saturday Dec 5th and be depressed for a time and smoke, drink, and rail to rally myself. My “coping” until my physical being breaks, and gives sweet release from this mortal coil. It has been a 9 year cycle of such. Hell I am fucking Hamlet! All alone with myself 😉 To be, Hoisted well, upon my own petard.  My  filthy cup, of mea culpa is well filled; Lest you send your slings and arrows at my person. Your fortunes outrageous or otherwise, I’ll not be good; I have a violent nature, so be cautious. I hate self pity, especially my own, which I have in Spades.

I wonder if I could do facile people pleasing work? No, I don’t think I can; I am not ‘slick’ enough technically. Rendering as artistic craft, always has a place. (Read Robert Hughes if you need to understand this assertion.)  And yet, “Who wants to look like everybody else?” A landscape that is the same as millions of other ones? Nice items – fill in the blank- that just as well could be a photo with goop on it? God I hate napthnol  red, not only is it cheap, it looks it as well. Amorphous fields of pleasant colors with nothing to set them apart from paint smears? Hell any idiot can do that, and likely would be bored doing it, so they just buy it from someone who’s pretense in life is that they are an ARTIST. Like fucking hell they are. They are place markers and poor ‘small area decorators’; at least a decorator can design an entire room.

Abstract photography indistinguishable from middle school efforts. Hell my kids did better photography in middle school.

Artists must learn to draw, if you cannot, you are blind. Even if your  work is not representational.  A body of works  that appears “slick, consistent, and manufactured” is not the same as “having a good eye”. The Eye is the elusive quality that makes visual art, masterworks. Something that cannot be explained with words, but  has seen in it’s ‘flesh’.  Not on some damn screen.

They only real passion too many artists have, is that they are craving  a certain lifestyle; the vain, ego blocks  feeling the great highs and lows of existence. They want a narrative that never gets either their feet wet, or hearts broke or blood on the hands; appearance, with no skin in the game. BUT we do live in the cold, digital, mother fucked, Facebooked, Tumbled, online world where we are all reduced to voyeurism. It is  full of intercourse  and emotions with no touching just buzzing electrons. So I guess even the wannabe artists want more than THAT, to their credit.

Most fortunately for these artists, there are legion of folk, especially in central Indiana, who want no challenge,  in their life-at all. HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE will provision Plentiful sweets for the vapid. Sweet. There is nothing wrong with ‘pretty’, but it is not the same as beauty. ‘Pretty’ is approachable beauty makes you feel uncomfortable with yourself.




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Sketch by Martha Lindenborg Vaught