I had a discussion with a fellow artist on a site for artists. I had uploaded my images there and within a few days I got a reaction on the painting ‘woman with red hair’ from a fellow artist.

Excellent view of feelings, integrity en realism, Ellen. Thanks for your friendship. Go on like this.  

I responded with gratitude. Said that I painted it very fast and disclosed to him, that it surprised me that I got the most reactions on this painting then other (more better paintings in my view).

I was proud that I got the painting ‘woman in blue’ (on the left side down under) almost perfectly painted. Still there were only a few people who saw that and made a comment on it.

He commented again, now more detailed:

                It seems to work that way. For example: When Rembrandt van Rijn began to paint faster and more sloppy his works got more attention and were sold faster. Perhaps it is due to the association people make. Because we are all so different – also emotionally – Leonardo Da Vinci once wrote: “It scares people off, when they see art that comes close to the hand of God”. It seems that this has to do with the association people make of imperfect people, which is dictating the opinion when something is considered beautiful and attractive.  Your portrait is very good!  (Okay, Okay)

It wasn’t that I thought about it earlier, but when former very successful artists say this, it is proof that this discussion is not new and perhaps ongoing forever… Well, of course I gave it this time more attention:  I got a bit disturbed by it. “Are we going to settle for less?”, was my immediate thought. I responded on his comment:

Interesting analysis.. Strange enough, the immediate thought came to me that I have to showcase imperfectness in my techniques.  Do I have to go with the b-culture  or go on with showing off my best capabilities as an artist? Or am I attracted to the supermodel culture, in which everything has to be perfect outside. Are they not also the most uninteresting persons and unattractive people. Maybe the conclusion of it all is that imperfection is the most attractive and therefore a better selling product.

Further thoughts were: Aaah, that’s why they make the programs about supermodels. They are perfect from the outside, but what the picture also show is their incapability’s, their voices, their attitudes. That’s why they are attractive: They are imperfect! Artists with perfect voices, need to have imperfect lifes, to sell better. Well I can go on forever about this. Paintings of imperfect faces sell better….

But the question is still there:  Do I have to leave my standards in painting to what is common to be known as attractive…. Or am I just stubborn… Do I need to be common (imperfect) to be accepted….Someone once said to me:

Are you trying to be perfect? Grow up!!

If you want to comment on it, please do, and share your experiences below. Thanks!