Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'm troubled...

I'm troubled by the following:

First, Exhibit A--a small, annotated portrait of Barack Obama done on commission for a lovely couple in New Jersey. Disregard how blue the background looks. It's really white.

Yesterday the painting was returned to me with the request that a couple of changes be made. Changes, I thought, are fine. I mean, one tries to keep the customer satisfied, right?

Change one was a request to touch up his left eye. Okay, I'm thinking. Change two was to modify his hairline. Bit of a quibble, I'm thinking, but okay. Change three was to white out all the annotations.


So now it's the next day and, having finished chewing on my raisin bran I'm now chewing on the advisability of whiting out the annotations. A friend of mine said just paint them a new one and keep this one for yourself.

I'm of two minds. First, I'm already painting another Obama for a lovely woman in the Pacific Northwest. I don't really feel like painting the guy for the fifth time just now. Second, I have enough paintings and don't necessarily want to keep this one. Truth be told, it's not my finest hour, although there are many things about it that I like very much. Not the least of which is one of the annotations:
"I wish my parents were alive to see this...and I'm not even black!"
Now THAT, dear reader, is an annotation!

Also, you know as well as I do that, in an act of profound self-delusion, I like to put myself in the shoes of the great ones and walk around as if I were one of them. So now I'm wearing my Matisse shoes and thinking what I (being Henri Matisse) would say if somebody asked me to change one of my paintings as dramatically as I (being Geoffrey Raymond) am being asked to change one of mine. If that makes sense.

Of course I'm not Matisse. So I'll probably just do it. But that's not to say I'm not troubled.


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