Sunday, October 19, 2014

When is a Barn Not "Just" a Barn?

As you may know, I have been painting daily. It has been 21 days now. I am over the half-way mark now, as I wanted to do it for 40 days straight.

Today I painted a piece that included a barn. When I showed it to a couple of people, they interpreted it in ways that I had not envisioned.

I thought I was painting a barn.

Their reaction got me thinking. Any time we put ourselves out into the world we are exposing ourselves to others and their interpretations of us. Sometimes they might be right. Sometimes they might be wrong. Sometimes they may see something we don't see. Sometimes we will agree. Sometimes we won't.

I like when people get something out of my work for themselves. I am, quite frankly, not always sure when someone tells me about me through their interpretation of my work. While what these people thought today were "good" perspectives, it still feels a bit awkward.

It is hard to explain exactly what, and how, I feel. I imagine it is my sensitivity to being judged these days. There are times I feel a bit raw.

I really just thought I was painting a barn. There are times I tend to think something may "just" be what it appears to be, and not something else. There are times I have extra paint, and I use it, and happen to like the way it looks. Is it my unconscious speaking? Or is it just extra paint, and kind of a cool something that I have done with the paint brush?

At some point I was thinking about poetry class. In the poems, there often seem to be metaphors. Are there really metaphors, or are those analyzing the poetry putting a meaning into place that wasn't necessarily intended by the author? Was the meaning that they interpret like what is perceived about my work? Was it the author expressing from their unconscious? Whose interpretation of their unconscious is the "right" one?

I really don't know the answers to these questions. But what I do know is that I don't blame those who hold back from sharing their work one bit. It is not the easiest thing to share one's soul in any form. It can be quite intimidating, among many other things.

But there are trade-offs, and if you are "one of those" people, I can tell you - even with my questions and reservations - I much rather be on this side of things.

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