|Addison Parks(2011-13), Noneedtopanic.com, oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches|
|Addison Parks(2013), Little Star, oil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches|
|Addison Parks(2010), Liberty's Fire, oil on canvas, 36 x 42 inches|
I had always assumed that everyone could talk painting, that they could see what I saw, so that if they didn't say anything, that it was because they chose not to. But then I discovered that they couldn't. They couldn't see anything, but I could. When I stumbled into a writing job as an art critic for a small weekly it took right away. People wanted to know what I saw. People wanted me to see for them. Either because they were the artists who needed it, or just people interested in art who couldn't see it. As a result when I moved to New York after art school, I became a sought after art writer. And it wasn't because I could write. I couldn't. But I could listen, and like I said, keep listening, which is the important part about listening. You don't stop. Then I found some way to put what I heard into words. It took a while for me to understand all the fuss, but I actually made artists cry with my words. They had ached to hear the words I said; they had ached to hear someone say what they had poured into their paintings.
|Addison Parks(2011), Constellation Flower, oil on canvas, 42 x60 inches|
And all of those artists I had talked to over the years flashed before my eyes. Over forty years of people who I had talked to about their work and watched them look at me as though I was messing with them. "Who told you"... "no one ever"... "how did you know" and more swirling around in their brains. Because that was how I felt right then. And I felt grateful the way that they felt grateful. A little like crying. Like they weren't crazy. Like what they were doing in their work was really happening.
But what she said wasn't untrue. I explained to her that not every artist is an art lover, that there are makers out there. People who make art because they have to, because they can't do anything else, because they are trying to fill a hole in their life, because they are good at it. They aren't necessarily interested in art at all, not in anyone else's, just their own work. Which is fine. Not a supposed to be. Not a judgment. Just the way things are. I told her that for some other people it is a chicken or egg thing, that it was for me, that I couldn't remember whether I loved art or making art first, that it seemed to happen all at once, but together. Still, after a long time of talking about other people's work it was nice to have someone to talk about mine. I just didn't think that it would come from where it came from, that it would come from my teenage daughter. Just goes to show!
|Addison Parks(2012), Banana Boat, oil on canvas, 6 x 8 inches|