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[personal profile] blackmare posting in [community profile] artists

54th and Bayfront
, 48 x 48", acrylic on canvas

By the time I painted this, in 1995, I'd had the image in my head for years. I think of it now as the starting point for a lot of the art I make now: I still have this restless energy, these colors, and the horse as symbol of power/fear/motion/courage all converging.

But I tried to destroy this thing, once.
 
It was back when I was in art school in Tampa. I'd just finished a second painting as a companion piece to this one, brought them to class, and this professor whom I admired was less than impressed. He said these things looked like a comic book, kind of cheesy, and I could do better.
 
I stopped making them, and a year or two later, when my roomies and I were moving, I threw this painting and its companion piece into the apartment complex dumpster. K was one of my roomies at the time, and when she saw what I was doing, she went and grabbed this one and said since I'd thrown it out, finders keepers.
 
I'll always be grateful to her for that. I had allowed one person's opinion to matter far too much, but I wasn't able to see that then. Was my professor wrong?  In one sense, no. The painting does look like it could be a scene from a comic book; it has the feeling that there's a story behind it; it's simply drawn and perhaps even cheesy in some ways. What I failed to do was ask, "Why is that a problem?"  Modern and postmodern art is deeply distrustful of emotion (and therefore of women who paint horses), and that attitude was coloring my professor's perceptions -- and he passed that bias on to me.
 
This painting, and K's rescue of it, may have taught me more about trusting myself as an artist than anything else ever has. She has kindly lent it back to me and it is now part of my first-ever Real Solo Gallery Show.

I still like that professor, by the way, and he did me a lot of good otherwise, but where this is concerned? He can go jump in a lake.

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