Keeping The Vision

keeping the visionI was sitting on my bed, as I do every morning, writing things in my journal I am grateful for.  I looked up and saw this miniature hut hanging from a hook on the wall that my boyfriend at the time had bought me while we were on a trip.  I don’t think he realized it, but it’s significance to me was huge. To me it represented being true to myself and my vision, and I felt that he was in his own way recognizing that.

Yes, I know, female circular logic!  But the reason for that – and the reason I keep the miniature hut in my bedroom is because I want to remind myself of the lesson I learned while painting two rather large hut paintings.  I had come home one night after a really fun date – and painted two huts from just what was inside of me.  I didn’t use any reference material, I was just going with my feelings, and remembering some huts I had seen in Hawaii on the Big Island.
When I took the paintings into my painting class, which was filled mostly with women, I was told the huts weren’t realistic because of their roofs, and that my islands looked like tree branches.  They joked that I was painting bird cages.  On and on they went.  So I changed the paintings, to try and address some of the outside criticism I was perceiving.  And subsequently, hated those two big paintings.
A few years later, a friend of mine came to my studio and bought a small sketch of one of my huts.  A sketch I had done that first night before putting paint to big canvas.  He loved it.  It really connect with him.  And I realized that he was connecting with my original vision.  After he left, I took those two big hut paintings out and painted over them – this time sticking to my original vision. It was a very freeing experience.
And the funny thing is – since then, those two paintings and similar images have resonated with a lot of men.  
So I learned two things from those hut paintings: 1) stay true to my vision in my art; and 2) not every painting is right for every audience. Just because one audience doesn’t “get” it, doesn’t mean the piece won’t resonate somewhere else.

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