Pet Art Blog
Twee' Art LLC, Vermont
To Create & Demolish My Art
Susie E Caron (c) 2020
Painting, is my pleasurable service to pet portrait customers. However, sadly, in every artist’s life there comes a time to destroy one or more ‘stored’ paintings. It may be for different reasons and different for every artist.
Yesterday it happened to me.
I approach destruction of my art with reluctance.
I feel like part of me and the imagined recipient, who I keep in mind while painting, are somehow inextricably linked. It hurts to think of hurting anything so precious.
My collection grew.
Early in my art career I painted all kinds of animals. One by one I added them to the walls of our tiny log home. I treasured each creative accomplishment and basked in the pleasure I felt, surrounded by my ‘animal life.’
The day came when I noticed my new creations appeared vastly improved from earlier works. I ignored this and added more to our walls. I couldn’t I bring myself to remove the older ones and tear them up!
I further rationalized keeping them in two ways. I figured when I died my early art would become collector’s items. Conversely, I envisioned that my kids, with tear- filled-eyes after my funeral, would want every single painting from our home. (Right!?)
That’s not how it usually works
My husband frequently warned me that instead of these two scenarios, much of my art would more likely end up in a dumpster. Alternatively, the kids could hold an estate sale and ‘get rid of’ everything for pennies. (Leftovers to go in the dumpster anyway.)
Still I hesitated.
From my early careers teaching, psychology and raising kids I knew that toys taken away from young children before they are ready to ‘donate or toss,’ can cause experience of loss. Not like a death but akin to it. The loss reflects some unfinished business of personality development. I knew that portions of personality get cast onto toys, studied and manipulated, later to be reabsorbed. Suddenly taking them away too soon interrupts portions of personality growth. Most of us ‘get over it’ and grow anyway, but it can be difficult for children, or in this case for me and my art.
I reluctantly removed three victims off their hooks and out of their frames. As if saying ‘goodbye’, I softly thanked them for the opportunity to paint their likenesses. Then I picked up scissors and plunged into the first canvas back. As I tore canvas from backing, I wanted to close my eyes so as not to see the image. The second painting seemed easier and by the third I ripped and pulled with energy. (Was I enjoying this?)
( “No animals were harmed or killed during this process.”)
“Okay, so I didn’t die,” I thought. Happily, as far as I can tell no portions of my ‘self’ or personality hurt either. Then I looked up at the bare wall spaces. Dust and wall yawned at me. They appeared to beckon, begging me to fill them once again. What to paint? What to paint? Oh, What to paint?
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Susie Caron, acrylic artist, creates realistic paintings of pets, animals, and selected scenes. Her love of and experience with many pets and farm animals throughout her life, enables her to capture the unique feeling and expression of each subject. In her commission pet and livestock portraits, Susie also works with each customer to discover and then reveal the personality and special bond between pet and human.
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