Bunny Can’t seem to Eat Canaries
Nothing is precious. I don’t remember a mentor saying those exact words, but the idea is obvious, if a little fatalistic. A wasted hour on social media will prove this. Many people make paintings. We spend hours pursuing this passion. We are lucky if anyone removed by more than 6 degrees will stop to notice for more than 2 seconds.
This week I received my first formal rejection to An Artist on An Animal Farm.
“Thank you for taking the time to submit your work to XYZ.com. We enjoyed looking through your portfolio, however, your work is not exactly what we are looking for at this time.
Best of luck in your creative endeavours and thank you for your interest and support of XYZ.com. Please do submit your work again next year so we may see the growth in your portfolio.”
Bunny won’t be appearing in XYZ.com, but the idea that she might get a second look in the future is incentive to continue. How is growth measured? If these nine paintings are a baseline, what is next? In a spectrum of responses from friends and family the following stood out:
- Have you ever not worked from photographs?
- The colors are so vivid!
- Are you going to sell these individually? It’s not as if there’s a story line here.
- You’ve not just gone forward, you’ve leapt forward!
Completing a series of paintings is a bonfire. The temptation to dwell on accolades is sweet, but sifting through the ashes for resilient material is far more satisfying.
Drawing from observation is my weakness. Scenes from Bunny’s life emerge fully formed in my imagination. In my daily interactions with people, she is my Esprit de Escalier. Fluency in the moment is something for which I strive, but rarely attain. Witty rejoinders are not always on the tip of my tongue. I work backwards from imagination in art too. Trying to achieve that perfectly imagined moment can be paralyzing. The only way to become fluent– practice!
I’ve always avoided drawing cats. They are too precious. “Why bunnies?”, I’m still not sure. But why NOT cats and bunnies? Not the ones most often seen on places like XYZ.com They don’t seem to have a value beyond shock. Something precious is only interesting if I can invite it over for tea– more than once. We could chat. Compare notes. Learn from one another. I’m not sure I would invite FRANCO LOSVIZZERO’s bunny over for anything. Maybe after her performance, but not while she’s in character.
I want to continue the conversation with Bunny. What does she do? How does she dream? What scares her? How does she overcome her fear. That kind of rapport requires fluency. That effortless quality belies infinite small steps at the drawing board. My imagination does not flow from my pencil. I walk backward looking over my shoulder with a mirror to get there. That’s hard to master. And here are some baby steps.
What is Bunny’s next adventure? She has a spirit guide and she’s going to Latin America. In preparation she’s been learning Spanish, taking dance lessons and reading up on mythology. This place is far from the farm where she lives. She’ll have to pack light. Stay tuned for more…