Random thoughts and bits of life of a coffee loving artist

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Research before Represent

Normally I don't vent through posts within my blog and even when I'm slightly irritated over something, I can still take a light hearted approach over the situation to at least make it an entertaining read. However, this is perhaps not going to be one of those cases. This month I have had my work in 2 different art auctions - KVIE 2014 Art Auction and Pence Gallery Art Auction. This evening my painting Gentle as the Lotus went up for auction. It was also the gala event at Pence Gallery where my piece Fleeting Grandeur is currently at. Of course after a long day, I was unable to attend the gala event so stayed home to watch the live auction. 

'Gentle as the Lotus'
by Dawn Star Wood
Sadly my painting did not get as high as bids as my other pieces did in previous years . It does happen from time to time and I am aware that this year's work was perhaps not as high quality as I could have made it. This I understand and I'm perfectly fine with the fact that it just means I need to do even better for next year's entry. This is not the source of my aggravation comes from. It comes from the choice of host for the segment that my work was in. 

Usually, KVIE has 2 hosts for each half hour segment talking about the work that is being displayed. In most cases, one is just a regular host while the other is an art expert who is either familiar with artists, done research into what the inspirations was, or actually knows the artist(s) in person. This usually means that they can not only describe the techniques that were used but could describe what the artist wanted to convey. Not this time around. The individual paired up with the host for my segment turned out to be a professional interior designer. Not one word about inspiration or the story behind the piece. Technique? That it was watercolors and had a lot of fine detail. What was covered? Color. Soft natural color. How the piece was made by a 'younger artist' who 'did her own framing'. How the piece was rather feminine and the frame was masculine. No mention that I have been a donator for several years now. No mention of my previous works that have been 'Bell Ringers' (any piece that gets a bid equal or greater then the suggested retail price). To say I was disappointed is perhaps an understatement with this. 

So for those wondering about the story behind Gentle as the Lotus, it was created after the passing of my mother earlier this year and was inspired by something that I had found online called Kuan Yin's Prayer for the Abuser. I have been a fan of Kuan Yin (or Quan Yin if you prefer) art and one of the last things I had ever received from mom before she had passed was a carved jade charm of Kuan Yin and a statue of her to add to my religious statuary collection. The piece was quite personal for me and was also rather healing at the same time. 

Kuan Yin's Prayer for the Abuser
To those who withhold refuge, 
I cradle you in safety at the core of my Being. 
To those that cause a child to cry out, 
I grant you the freedom to express your own choked agony. 
To those that inflict terror, 
I remind you that you shine with the purity of a thousand suns. 
To those who would confine, suppress, or deny, 
I offer the limitless expanse of the sky. 
To those who need to cut, slash, or burn, 
I remind you of the invincibility of Spring. 
To those who cling and grasp, 
I promise more abundance than you could ever hold onto. 
To those who vent their rage on small children, 
I return to you your deepest innocence. 
To those who must frighten into submission, 
I hold you in the bosom of your original mother. 
To those who cause agony to others, 
I give the gift of free flowing tears. 
To those that deny another's right to be, 
I remind you that the angels sang in celebration of you on the day of your 
To those who see only division and separateness, 
I remind you that a part is born only by bisecting a whole. 
For those who have forgotten the tender mercy of a mother's embrace, 
I send a gentle breeze to caress your brow. 
To those who still feel somehow incomplete, 
I offer the perfect sanctity of this very moment.

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