Cover.1114774.2400x600

As an artist, do you ever have regrets?

As an artist, do you ever have regrets? Tonight I was reminded for some reason, of a very dear friend, who has since passed. He was a brilliant writer, and although much older than I, he had a youthfulness about him, a mischievous gleam in his eye, and I really took a liking to, no, a loving to him. To me, he had a place in my heart, that I would generally keep reserved for a wise old uncle. He is not the first wise old uncle I’d admitted into my life, he was the second. Both were very special. I am always looking for new family members to bring into my heart, people who get me, and people I get. I don’t need to name names, people just know they are sacred kin, and that it’s a kindred spirit type of thing. Anyhow, you know that in relationships it can be hard, but I’d had quite a lovely honeymoon period at the beginning of this friendship, and really enjoyed my ‘uncle’s’ favour…however one day, I began to speak to him of a new series I had hoped to begin soon, about orphans. As a child, my mum had been very ill, and I’d had to live away from her and my family, and I think somehow I felt displaced from that experience, so I wanted to explore more, the idea of orphans. My ‘uncle’ was absolutely horrified and said he wouldn’t like me to do that at all. It utterly crushed me. My creativity took a huge dive (which it often does, but I rarely tell you about it) when I get any neg feedback, but this one hit me right between the eyes. Anyway, eventually, he explained that when he was a little boy, he and his parents had visited an orphanage, and took a little orphan girl home, took her to fun places for a little holiday, and he thought she was a permanent fixture, until the day his family drove her back to the orphanage, and left her there, to his horror. He had never forgotten the agony of peering back as the car drove away, and the look on the poor little orphan’s face. It haunted him for the rest of his life. I still couldn’t paint for a long while, and I couldn’t revisit the idea of painting my ‘orphan’ series, as it had caused me to recoil and be in so much emotional pain, and to think of the pain that I’d caused my ‘uncle’ in bringing it up and reopening old wounds at a time when I believe he was dying and in a lot of physical pain anyway. I thought I’d share this with others, because it illustrates quite well, how people’s reactions to art, aren’t always a criticism about the artist, but more often than not, they have allowed your commentary, your painting, your illustration, your sculpture or your poem, to speak to them in very personal ways, in order to really deal with some incident, some pain, some confusion, some loss, something that couldn’t be dealt with any other way. So, for artists, just remember, not to take it too personally, you create and your audience ‘sees’ what they need to see, as deeply as they’ll allow themselves to go with self reflection.

Journal Comments

  • ©Janis Zroback
  • Karin Taylor
  • ©Janis Zroback
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait