Art and “Exhibitionism”

Five of my paintings are included in an exhibition opening tonight. I’m looking forward to seeing how they fit in (or not) with the work of others.

When I dropped them off at the gallery last weekend it was a bit discouraging to see so many well painted pictures: landscapes, still life, portraits – not a lot of abstract or less “picturesque” work. Seeing them made me very aware of my lack of experience and how far behind I am in craftsmanship.
There are prizes on offer for a few different categories. All of mine are entered in the Oils/Acrylic section. I’ve never had any expectation of winning a prize, but it would be satisfying to see a “commended” card next to one of my paintings.

But to me at this time its not about prizes or sales (I have prices on mine – just in case) but about getting my work seen and hopefully cause a few people to think about what they represent. I paint as an expression of my faith. My paintings have references to aspects of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Those references are sometimes subtle through my use of repeated symbols and other times they are clear through the inclusion of biblical text.

There are a few reasons why I lean more towards the abstract:
1) It’s the type of art I personally prefer to look at
2) I don’t yet have the technical skills to paint in a more realistic fashion*
3) I find abstraction is able to express emotion well.
4) It offers challenge to the patient and reflective viewer (those who take time to look instead of immediately dismissing it with “a kid could paint that!”)

* I probably don’t have the skills to paint good abstracts either – but trying helps me to become more familiar with paint and the use of brushes wihtout people saying “that doesn’t look like a … (tree, person, animal etc.).

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