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27 April 2011

The Art Critic

Waiting to Dance. Oil. 34x26 RNoel by Rayla Noel

"Waiting to Dance"
Medium: Oil
Size: 34" x 26"

She was older than she looked and quite pretty, unlike her words that fell in flat tones around the Gallery and my Work slung in with four other Artists'; there were figurative Buddhas, lotuses, beaches, trees, flowers...

I was the 'One with Faces' that would not leave my canvas; the Art Critic, who knew local dailies like blood brothers, glared at me through the back of her head and said to the Gallery owner, "...some here need to paint things that people want symbols of on their walls. Gods and goddesses, tokens of fortune, water, trees, forms of life that inspire meaning and productivity in one's business and fortune, love and peace; not these..."

She and the Gallery owner moved into this Painting here "Waiting to Dance". The girl stared at the people in paint (my painting). They upset her. I wanted to tell her "they" had painted themselves. I did not really know why there was a staircase in the centre, the meaning of a floor with what looked like red carpet, why they were all dressed to the toes. Why they were still. I did not know why. I had no clue.

But how could I say that to these two standing here discussing Markets, Page 3 parties and how artists these days were people who must be socio-savvy, move with the times. I understood that, but glanced down at my crumpled kurta.

It took me two years to start painting again, almost. To allow my canvas to paint itself; speak with 'its own voice', 'its own face'. "Waiting To Dance" for me is a reminder of how easily I fell prey to the non creative Dictate; a call to break into my true genre.

What is my genre? It is variant; each day 'its face', 'its voice', 'its reason'.

Art is perhaps the testament of who I am as a citizen of this place in time? My record, my history? Dont touch it, re-arrange it, make pretty; nothing changes War, Tide, Beauty or Folly; we record it, record our minds, our truths, gains, losses; I am asking...

(This Painting reminds me of my Art Critic and how I used to be - afraid to dance it my way. As I write this last line, I see that maybe to some extent she was right. Maybe she saw how I trembled within the canvas, shy. Yeah, a few years ago, I found it hard to 'Dance out Loud'.)

And that was the honest Expression of that Time, in my Life!

© Rayla Noel


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