Things I noticed this time around :
I was more or less satisfied with every picture..I was proud of the totality. I see I have no issues with productivity. Quality….I met my own expectations.
I received a lot of intelligent positive feedback (supported by a willingness to buy) from people both within and outside of the art industry. People got what I was doing without being spoonfed and had as much sophistication if not more than any analysis I have read by “professional” critics or art writers.
I got and get most satisfaction from people who experience the art as an intuitive, holistic, spiritual or supra-intellectual process….including the vulnerability of having a show. As a psychiatrist friend eloquently pointed out, it’s anxiety-provoking because someone can trivialise it by saying hmmm don’t like this bit, like this bit….missing the whole point of the totality or ignoring the presence of soul on the canvas. There is also the possibility that no one comes and you are left with your own alleged authenticity in an indifferent little world called Brisbane, which is a tiny stage. On tiny stages, you still see all the predictable dynamics played out : flattery, judgement by indifference or non-attendance, heartfelt praise, insightful commentary, straight-out confrontation. Fortunately the bad egoisms didnt manifest and the good vibes were plentiful. I am grateful for having great friends and followers.
Although many people from within the “professional” (?) art world came and provided a lot of positive feedback without the usual cynicism that jaded employees and associates of art organisations often exude, it was apparent that one or two invited people didn’t turn up. I should give them my two bob…these strangers to me in mind and heart.
I knew they wouldn’t. I did not want them to. I hoped they wouldn’t. I had already perused their social media and seen that what we have here is a superficial follower of the latest designated paragons of the fashion industry, a faux sunflower whose plasticity does not need the sunlight of the living world. I wouldn’t go as far as to call them parasites on the lives of the top earning artists. Everyone needs a job.
Having spent the whole night speaking with people, it was a great relief not to have to pretend that I couldn’t see into the motives of this kind of person. Having seen many narcissistic individuals in my clinical practice at length, I was glad that I didn’t have to meet another gatekeeper of the school formal that is the Australian art scene.
My tolerance for the cool kids not long out of school that derive their sense of meaning from association with the “top artists” is……LIMITED. Best not to play together.
I learned who are my friends, and which friends walk the walk. (Ofcourse not everyone could make it…not talking about y’all.). Thanks guys for helping so much with prep and support.
I saw that a show always brings me into a new technique. This time I got more into my white-outs, and overall came closer to capturing the shamanic engagement with natural textures, patterns and the mathematics of the fractal world.
I came closer to filling the gap between my practice of psychiatry and my process of art, and linked the search for the underlying narratives in psychiatry with the search for the underlying patterns of the natural world. I hope I showed my patients how to live in the head and in the heart, as the magazine profile said.
I hope I showed my patients that your will to persevere and create can break on through the limitations placed upon you by the little box system of society.
In a world that is rapidly changing, with the traditional gate keepers of the arts / spirituality / political power / science all being radically challenged, we will increasingly decide who we are and achieve what we want to achieve, irrespective of the judgements of the old power structures. I dare to keep creating despite the indifference of some, and look at that, you start to get noticed and followed. I could give up medicine and earn solely from paintings but I see no reason why one cannot realise all one’s potentialities. At least the main ones.
Finally, I learned that I will continue to develop my painting and that I will also continue to develop my writing, psychiatry, financial efficacy and my travelling life. Teaching others how to get through a painting is no different to teaching someone how to negotiate life in crisis. And thus we approach a more integrated, vital life that does not depend on the approval of others.