For some time, I responded badly to viewers who saw something in my abstracts that I hadn’t intended. Those paintings were known to them as “the one with Donald Duck up in the corner” or the “bathtub one,” which could get me kind of cranky. Despite my painting over the offensive found-realism, the paintings remained memorable for what had been discovered. GRrrrrrr.
With more time painting, I’m appreciating these discoveries more. That squinting, guileless search for what might be there is a natural response to the hide and seek game of abstraction. Hopefully, the time between “What’s this about?” and “Oh, there’s a caterpillar!” will offer the exact thing I want: eyes on the work, travelling over the surface. It’s unfair to evaluate the response as fit or unfit when I have requested that they look at my canvases.