Daily Prompt Humble Pie Tell us about a time you found out after the fact that you’d been mistaken and you had to eat a serving of humble pie.
Disgust is an emotion I’ve been feeling a lot lately. Why? It started when one of my “fellow artists” cornered me on a below freezing morning outside the Post Office and yammered at me about the window paintings I did last summer for the grand opening of the co-op to which I belonged back then. Back then. Just a few months, but it seems like eons ago.
The fact is she is “The Window Painter” and (maybe?) just couldn’t abide that someone else had paintings on windows here in this small town. Maybe she thought my work was better than hers? Maybe someone (a potential client?) wanted something like that on their windows? I have no idea, but it was clear in what she said that she just hates the paintings, justify as she might that the paint needs to come down, it’s bad for the windows, did I crack one of the windows when I was painting? After I’d thought about the unpleasant half hour, it seemed to me that the motivating factor was envy. Ironically, I’d originally planned to paint the windows in tempera so the paint would wash off; it was this “professional window painter” who advised me to use acrylic. This person then accused me (to others, gossip is all too common) of using “house paint” when I used the exact paint she told me to — if she looked at the photos of the work being done that day, she’d see it.
The window paintings bothered her so much that she started taking them down on her own. This caused a firestorm among the members of the co-op most of whom like the paintings.
So I stood there that cold morning and listened to her rant at me and thought, “Life’s too short,” as I chowed down on “humble pie.” No, this is not paradise. As with the Garden of Eden, what makes it hell is people.
I’ve also decided that being an artist is for the birds. It’s one thing to make art quietly in your shed in your back yard and sometimes hang it in a show somewhere and it’s quite another thing to go public with it. Once I went public with it (since moving here) it’s not been fun and it’s not been pretty. This is not a battle that interests me. It was different when I was earning $75/hour to fight battles like this, but on my own dime? No thanks.
The point is, when it comes to paintings, some people like one thing and other people like another. It’s really that simple and competition? Yeah? It’s just not there, even between two paintings of the same subject — a buyer will choose the one he likes better, however he defines that idea of “like.”
That’s my “Humble Pie.” I’ve been taken down about 100 pegs by this situation and, after this holiday season, I’m retreating back into the closet with the memory of that beautiful day painting those windows.