Kodak Instamatic X-15 Camera

4"x6" oil on masonite panel I have often been asked how I do what I do, mainly by students. It's a vague question, but sometimes the queries are specific to my color and/or brush/knife work. Flummoxed, I may reply, "How does one teach insanity." (I know, I know, it's a cop out. But seriously, how do you teach it?) Not knowing what to say, I sometimes proffer this nugget: Stop asking your mother what she thinks of your art. While the artist usually thinks that their mother's response of "nice" is a trite critique of their creative genius and feels hurt that she doesn't take their art seriously, I view it as sheer and utter rudeness to the mother. Do not put the women, who unconditionally loves you—if you are lucky—on the spot like that. What the heck do you expect her to say? While you're looking for words like "deep understanding," "complex color work," or "contextual juxtaposition" she'll deflect with "nice." What do you expect? You've cornered a person who has no idea what you are trying to achieve and truly, truly does not want to hurt our feelings. Unless she teaches the subject or worked on the piece with you, don't ask. Instead, show some love and respect. Ask her about her day. Patiently listen to her complain about her uncooperative computer and for goodness' sake, please try to find a tactful and loving way to suggest she back off on the Diet Coke. This applies to all the creative fields by the way. If you are an art director and you ask your mother what she thinks of your ads, you should be flogged, too. Anyway... to sum up... Don't be rude to your mother!

Posted September 3, 2015

sold • private collection, los angeles, ca

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