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.”

So, disgust.

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.

21 thoughts on “Disgust

  1. Im sooo sorry. I grew up in the land of artists and have seen them oooed and awed one moment and booed and flawed the next. I really do think it’s jealousy. Dont give up what makes you happy becuase of the small minds of others.

    • You’re right. She just thinks I should take the paintings down and I WAS willing to help, but… She is paid to paint windows AND take them down. I was not paid for that work and invested a lot in the proper paint. I was also not the only one who painted them — it was a great celebration and a group effort that day, not only me. That was part of what made it so great. One of the co-op members granddaughter got to paint on the window, too! She was SO thrilled. It was really beautiful. OH well. Thanks for the encouragement and moral support. 🙂

  2. enjoy your gift and don’t be concerned with hers. I have eaten so much humble pie I am truly up to here…now I just refuse to eat anymore.

  3. It’s obvious from the picture of you at the top of this post that you were having a terrific time painting that window! And if I remember correctly, thanks to you, a little girl got to add her mark, and who knows how that small act on your part could affect her life? We touch each other’s lives every day in ways that we can’t even imagine, and you’ve got a joyful memory to look back on when you think of that day. Truly, that’s the only really important part.

    That nasty woman….well, there’s usually one sad and bitter soul in every crowd. Imagine having to live inside HER head every day!

    I’ve discovered your art website, and I think your work is lovely, especially your landscapes. It may well be that the web is the ideal forum for your work; it’s certainly that for a number of other artists these days. Best of luck to you!

    • I agree with you — the only important parts of that day are the pleasure I had in painting and my friend’s little granddaughter joining in. All of us who worked on it had a great time.

      It’s ironic because — as much fun as I had that day — the one thing I learned as I painted that window was that I don’t want to paint windows. I also have no reason to muscle in on someone else’s livelihood — and I wouldn’t. But I guess it’s easier to believe one’s assumptions are true rather than talk to someone.

      I’m glad you found my website — landscapes are difficult and I do them as a kind of discipline. 🙂

  4. There is always someone eager to ruin someone else’s day/week/year/life. Envy? Probably. Stupidity? Absolutely. Online and in real life, you just can’t completely avoid them, hard though we try. The windows were beautiful. Try not to let her spoil it for you.

  5. Oh my gosh, Martha–this ‘fellow artist’ has a whole lotta issues, don’t you think? I thought this had all ended when you dropped from the co-op. Obviously, she can’t let go. I was thinking of your post a few days ago–forgive and forget. This person needs to not exist in anyone’s universe. What a hateful and hate-filled person she sounds like. Banish her! 🙂

  6. Jealousy will eat that beoutch some day. And she’ll get dues. Everybody that acts like a buzzard or a witch eventually gets it right back. Too bad you did not tell her to go straight to hell but then she would have made a huge production out of your words. I despise folks like her.

    • I was just stunned — it’s probably a good thing that understanding what people are saying to me with their voice is not my strong point. It usually takes me days to figure out what someone’s said. It’s so stupid because I never want to paint another window so if she was worried about my taking away her livelihood, she didn’t need to be. Oh well… I’m glad I wrote this, though. I needed to get it off my chest. I despise folks like her, too. I hope I never am one, but maybe I have been…

  7. Now let’s see. On your visit here I have two garden cupboard doors ideal for a painting. The neighbour had it done by one of those sprayers with a super result. I just wonder why people stir up such problems. Is it jealousy or are they missing something in life. Mr. Swiss paints and we have almost only originals on our walls. We all have our own tastes and mine are not always the same as the others. Even I make mistakes in my blogs, but there is a way to complain, and not to just leave your mark and blow it up into extremes which is a sign of insecurity probably. Sounds your fellow artist is very frustrated. Just pity her.

  8. This must be out of sheer jealousy. A case of envy which is so unfortunate. These kind of people exist everywhere and I thought we have lats of them in India. They can’t stand anyone enjoying life. Paintings are beautiful and you must preserve them. Shouldn’t get spoiled.

    • Sooner or later the paintings need to come off the windows. It’s weird because I’d already told this person numerous times that I didn’t care. I was perfectly fine with them being scraped off and repainted. I’m not a member of the co-op so it’s not really my business. While she was yammering at me, I reminded her of that, but it doesn’t matter. She was irrational and no rational offering or discussion could make a difference at all. I have lots of photos of the day and the paintings. 🙂

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