A$$hole comment….

Yada, Yada, Yada (24 x 24)….and I knew it.  It hit a deep wound.  And I knew it.  I responded, even though I knew exactly what was going on.  I couldn’t help myself.

I have a new soft shell (I’m a Cancer) that I have recently grown.  I’m vulnerable – hell, we all are – when we are trying on something new and stepping into who we are.  It takes a SHIT TON of courage to do this work.  I’m not just speaking for myself, I’m saying this for all of us!

And, I know anytime that we choose to put our authentic selves out there that it’s risky.  We open ourselves up to criticism, and we know it’s coming, but we do it anyway.  BECAUSE WE HAVE TO.

I can’t speak for others, but, I think I can give a voice to artists…at least those who are going outside of their comfort zone, and being authentic to who they are, and painting what their soul is begging them to paint.

As an artist, what we paint – for the most part – is who we are.  It’s our emotional being on canvas.  It’s our soul expressing itself.  It’s very difficult to separate who we are from what we do.   I think that most artists feel this way.

I have a pretty tough shell when it comes to constructive criticism….like – you need more darks, more contrast, the composition is a bit wonky, etc etc.  I actually welcome CONSTRUCTIVE criticism.  I always open to learning.  As most of us are.

But I am not open to this:  “This painting is awful.  It looks like Dolly Parton on a bad hair day on drugs.”

And then he went on to compare me to James Bama, who is a great, VERY traditional artist, and does not paint in my style at all.   He paints the seen.  I paint the unseen.  The visions, the messages.

There is no comparing.

He couldn’t paint what I paint…but, I can still paint traditionally.

I responded and first of all said – “Thank God, not all of us like the same art. And I’m grateful that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

And then, a reaction, “Didn’t your mother teach you if you couldn’t say anything nice, then say nothing at all?”

He continued….with a lot more condescending rhetoric….that pushed every single button, all my wounding, all my doubts and fears.

Delete and ban.

I’m not sharing this with you for you to get on the “f*** him” bandwagon.

I’m sharing it, because we can choose to allow it to affect us, or we can delete and ban. It happens to all of us who are stepping up and into who we are.  Our intuition is strong.  Our desire to be ourselves is strong.  Our passion about our paths is even stronger.

I don’t know this man…but, I suspect that he is unhappy.  And that is not my problem.  I can choose to let him affect me (and, I have got to admit – it did – a bit more than a bit), or I can know that I am just not gonna be everyone’s cup of tea.

Still learning those never ending lessons….as you know….they keep circling around (and give me GREAT blog fodder!!)

May we walk together as one


PS…I’ll bet he hates Georgia and Jackson too…#just sayin




29 Responses to A$$hole comment….

  1. It would be nice to know if this person paints. I have learned that the most critical are the ones who never lift a finger, never give of themselves and never put themselves out there for fear of being criticized. Yet make it hard on those who do. Pity him for the lessons are tougher to learn for this one.

  2. What’s wrong with people?! What a small person and moron. Sorry; I know you were not looking for people to jump on the band wagon to tell him to step off, but really??? What is the point in leaving comments like that. It’s not a constructive crit!

  3. Much love and admiration for putting your tender shelled self out there. Also admiration for not reacting as poorly as I’m sure you wanted to… You did better than I might have. To each his own.

  4. Well said my friend….I have to admit – I would have reacted the same but with time and reflection…there are always lessons to learn aren’t there? Every day, every moment, every hour….and yes – this is what we have to accept when we are serious about living and growing and being alive in our own lives. I remember SARK saying that if are you aren’t getting rejected, you aren’t putting yourself out there enough….and girl you are. I am so proud of your integrity – matching actions with words. It is hard work sometimes and you have never been afraid of that. Sending love and light your way…sister….

  5. Kaboom! Keep doing what you’re doing (Like anyone could stop you!) Confident artists welcome constructive criticism, like you said. Insults come from bullies with small minds.

    Onward, beautiful human!

  6. Paula, you rock. Did he really say “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? Shaking my head, I have nothing nice to say, so…

  7. I hear you, Paula, about the courage it takes to create art that represents your authentic self. That’s my path too right now & your art & blogging mean a lot to me. I’ve listened to a certain amount of bullshit too. Like you, I keep plugging along. My vision & desire is much stronger than what any dunderhead may think about my work!!

  8. I was on the receiving end of one of those attacks a few years ago. There is a group of poets who asked to use my work as inspiration for their poetry. One of their members did not like my work and described it in most unflattering terms — and not in the form of a poem. I was gutted for a minute, and then his peers raced in to my defense and shamed him for his poor manners. Gorgeous poems were written and I walked away from the project with such a warmth of feeling. I share this because I am quite certain you will receive even greater support than I did. And it will be well earned by you. Shoo the little gnat away and paint on!

  9. This is my first time reading your blog. I’ve only found it because a friend of a friend posted. At first I thought this was actual criticism from an actual person. When I realized that it’s a faceless, nameless lonely troll, I was able to reign in my ire. This is the 21st century of the Internet. I can’t hear any of them.

    • I get it. As an artist, though, I think many of us take it personally… Because our work is a total reflection of who we are. But, thank you for your perspective… I truly appreciate it.

  10. I retired recently as a professor. I was a great teacher, won awards, etc. every semester students got to evaluate the courses I taught. Inevitably, there was always that one student who had a chip on their shoulder and I would get their verbal diarrhea. Although fifty other students wrote glowing reports, I would always focus on that one negative evaluation. It’s like a stone in your shoe. I finally learned to throw the stone out and hug myself for a job well done for the 49 remaining students. Throw the stone out, Paula. There are so many of us who have your work sitting in our homes that inspire us every day. You are loved by so many.

  11. The on drugs part was completely ridiculous, but I kinda liked the thought of Dolly Parton on her day off. She’s still beautiful, just thinking about all the things she has to do, like we all do, some we are looking forward to, some are just errands, some might be challenging…. but if I filled in the screen with messy bed hair, a hot cup of coffee for fortitude and all that… Dolly Parton prods Buttock! This isn’t a woman looking to impress anyone else, she’s a woman facing life and that’s OK. I think a nice title for this might be ,”I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden. 😉

    • I knew the woman that sang that song… She lived in Taos, and we had the pleasure of sitting next to one another on a plane.

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