Sharing the Work…Notes from ArtFest Midwest

Booth at ArtFest Midwest- Varied Industries Building, Des Moines, IA
July 24 & 25, 2010

I love sharing my work…it is always an interesting experience to interact with people as they respond to the work- which pieces evoke an emotional response, which pieces cause people to stand and look for a long time, which colors appeal to different personalities. While I don’t paint only for the response of others, I still glean so much from interacting with people as they view the work.

Implications of this Rejection 48″ x 36″ 2009 Melynda Van Zee

This particular piece seemed to draw out many interesting comments including…

1. “How did she get those circles so perfect? Did she use a stencil to trace them? ‘No.’ Well, then she must of drawn those really slow and carefully to get them so even.”(I can promise no stencils involved here-that would be more like years and years of drawing swirls-my college drawing prof would have us draw pages of circles).

2. “I sure wouldn’t want to be around you while you were painting that one. There must of been a man involved.” (I laughed out loud and in the interest of full disclosure it was a man who made this observation)

And, I think it is great when people see things I missed…

3. Don’t you see the fish? (I hadn’t, but now I do!)

Rhythm of the Struggle 40″ x 30″ 2010 Melynda Van Zee

4. “That one-now that one looks so like you…” This comment gets said about various different works on a regular rotating basis- maybe certain people see more of one side of a particular emotion in me than others???

Observing the Recovery 36″ x 48″ 2010 Melynda Van Zee

5. And, of course, someone was going to ask…do you drink before or after you paint those? My friend helping with the show, explained that in fact that wasn’t the case. I told him that part of my process was often to play music as I worked and his final comment…”I don’t think it was country you were listening to.”

And, so many more thoughtful, deeply engaged questions, conversations, stories shared- the power of art to move and make people engage the bigger story we are all walking…what a gift for me to be able to be present and share bits of my story and journey deposited on the canvas. Met some great new friends, wise business and artistic minds and connected with some friends I had lost touch with over the years.

Deep thanks for all the help, encouragement and support to make this weekend happen. Friends, family, friends of friends-thanks to you all-I am so blessed!

One Comment

  1. lhanthorn June 30, 2010

    OK, this is getting really close to the BIG time when you make it to the Varied Industries building – Congratulations!!

    We still need to have that Cup o' Joe at the Row sometime soon.

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