Banished to the Cornfield

Have you ever seen the Twilight Zone episode where the townspeople all had to be so nice to the little boy, or he would banish them to the cornfield? They never saw that person again. Think of the townspeople as my dozens of artworks and I am that little boy… I create a piece while out painting en plein air or in the studio. It is finished. But, in some cases - more than I’d like to admit - the painting doesn’t sit well with me. I stew on it. I tweak it. I tweak it again. On rare occasions, I’ll create a monster. I should have wiped it while it was still wet, at least to save the canvas for something else and pile that scraped paint up into a pile of “mud” color to paint, well, perhaps mud.

Whatever way it ends up, I have a few that fail. Maybe a few more than a few. Call them lessons. Call them “might have beens”. Call them anything, but please don’t call them mine! I try not to post those on Facebook or even take a photo. They are left to dry in a dingy corner of the garage. They are beyond painting over. After they have dried, I look at them, and with a wince, I banish them to the cornfield. Other artists have a bonfire, against all environmental codes. Some take them to the dump. I believe I may be like most and tuck them in the back of the closet, behind the file cabinet, under the bed, and put into boxes. My little cornfields. I would feel horrible to try to give away something I myself can’t stand. It would be bad to have work out there with my name on it that is less than my “standards”. Even some that I felt proud to sell early in my learning days, I wish I could sneak back to banish those to the cornfield, as well. You can’t say I’m being too hard on myself, because this is what every artist goes through. Such is the life, being banished to the cornfield…. striving to create a new field of wonderful paintings that won’t get banished, but instead get a home, to be cherished. Such is the life of an artist.

Good to Be Recognized

Passing through the grocery store, a woman stopped me to tell me how much she enjoyed my art. She recognized me from the gallery photos of opening night at a local art show. With all the hustle and bustle at the opening reception, she said it was too difficult to know which person was the artist she sought out and to tell me then…. and her husband had been waiting for her in the car! Oh, my! She added that a painting of mine already hangs in their entry and that she is confident to find another of mine that will compliment the first. What a beautiful thing to say! I was no longer walking through the store, but gliding… a few inches above the ground. It is good to be recognized!