Sunday, February 12, 2012
Love and Art
As I was writing the piece about my obsessive-compulsive behaviors I got to thinking about something else, something I often do. I was thinking about the fact that my Mother always thought it was very important for children to have hobbies. She told me over and over again the she thought that hobbies were the key to keeping kids off drugs and out of trouble. But then, at the same time, she has always referred to my hobbies, my art, as “time wasters”. Talk about confusing. I mean seriously, WTF is that shit? There was somehow something redeeming about her little crocheted doilies, but there was nothing positive to be said about anything I created, unless I could find a way to make money from it. Not that she ever made any money from her doilies, but that was different somehow.
Most of the people who were supposed to love me and support me in my life have all considered my art “bad” or otherwise “unacceptable” or “inferior” in some way or another. Now I can see how some times my obsessiveness with my art does take away from other people and what they think I should be doing for them, but my art is not “bad', or a “waste of time” or “unacceptable”, its ART! And whether I ever make a fortune from it or not does not matter, whether anyone else “approves” of it or not does not matter, it is mine, it is who I am, it is what is important to me. You don't have to like it, that's fine, but if you actually Love me, then you should at the very least pretend to support it.
I think that is probably what I love the most about my husband, while he does occasionally bitch and moan (and rightfully so) about the level of obsessiveness I reach with my art, he supports my efforts 100%. He may not always show the level of enthusiasm that I might hope for, but he is always willing to help in any way that I ask. I have known a few people in my life who actually did support me in the things that were important to me, but very few of them ever supported me like he does. He has spent thousands of dollars and probably thousands of hours of his time in support of my art, not because he really enjoys it, but because I do. To me that is the greatest act of Love, and it really should be standard behavior for those we love.
My relatives only supported my interests when they mirrored or somehow advanced their interests, that is not love. If someone says they love you and then proceeds to tell you that what is important to you is a waste of time or is somehow far less important than everything they have ever thought of doing, that is not love. If someone takes what they know you feel strongly about and tells you that it is “bad”, or somehow “evil” and "wrong" because it conflicts with their precious view of the world, that is not love. We shouldn't belittle and bully the people we love into being what we want them to be, we should nurture and support them in the process of becoming themselves, that is Love. My husband, driving 6 hours, each way, on bad roads through the desert, paying $100 a night on a nice hotel room, just to let me walk around in 90 degree plus weather to look at quilts for a couple of hours at an outdoor quilt show that I just happened to hear about, that is Love.
Art really is about love and acceptance if you stop to think about it. Its an expression of an individual's views on the world, in one way or another. I understand that my art has often brought discomfort to some people, I have often focused on optical illusions and rather abstract images that allow for others to use their minds to see what they want to see. And when what they see is disturbing they decide that there must be something wrong with me. It took me a long time to figure out that the problem wasn't me, or my art, it was in them, and there was nothing I could do about it. In their narrow little world views they could not see the value, they could not see the beauty in what I created. They preferred to deny themselves joy and beauty than to see beyond themselves and what they believed was acceptable. That is sad, for them. It does not have to have any effect on me whatsoever though, unless I let it, and I choose not to let it effect me anymore.