So, I entered this piece of fusion art into my local pastel society’s annual member show today (since I sometimes use pastel as a medium, I am a member of the Adirondack Pastel Show, but not a very active one). The fine art portion of the piece is done in pastel, but as one can see, I’ve incorporated some computer parts (motors, chokes, other round items) into the piece that reminded me of the haybales depicted in the painting. Thus the title, Haybales Reimagined.
I fear that the volunteer/pastel society member taking in the artwork for the group show really did not know what to make of this piece; she reacted with a phrase that probably most, if not all, artists exploring the unconventional, have heard from time to time: “Well, it certainly is interesting…”
Typically pastel paintings are framed in neutral matting, under glass, with conventional frames. This piece clearly defies that standard, so before entering the show, I sent an image of the piece to the pastel society’s president to see if I should or could enter it. She is an open-minded and gracious person, and responded that she encourages experimental work, and that I should put the piece in the show.
It would be safer and certainly less scary, to have taken the painting out of its unusual casing, rematted and framed it to the standard, before entering it into this exhibit. But I chose not to. I want people to look at it and puzzle it out. I accept that some people might absolutely hate it, and hope that quite a few more are intrigued by it and like it. Perhaps someone might even love it enough to buy it. But most likely, there will be many that will simply react with “oh, that is interesting…” Art, so often, attracts that ambivalent response.