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To live and enjoy every day to its fullest, use my gifts to help others, I travel to wherever passion finds me.

What Will She Paint?

So many friends I met here...!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

SCRAPS FROM THE LIFE OF AN ARTIST - Mistaken Identity



 Most people who see me paint, see my back side. Plenty of times, it happens that I'm talking to a group, with the painting brush in my hand, talking about the painting, and one discovers that I'm having the same blouse on as the painter they saw before.
"Aaahm", someone asks, "where is the painter?"  When I say," I'm the painter", you see that they need some seconds to process that information.
I guess, I don't look like a painter?
Even more mind boggling, one has even told me, that after seeing me (my back)  paint regularly for two years, they thought I was their sister (who does not paint!), and was suprised it was me.
Am I turning into someone people know more closely? I like to know if this is a more common phenomena than I think?


Or, what do you think of this?
Before I tell the story, I need to tell you some of the background. At this blog I have shown most of my landscapes, but only two of some of my common size canvases of 24 x 30 inches (61 x 76 cm) that you can see at my art web site www.stgermainart.com. Most of the year I wave big brushes on pretty big canvases. With a frame the 24 x 30 ones come to 29 x 35 inches (74 x 89 cm). I had five of these hanging on the walls in my old living room. So you could say, it was a minature gallery.




Oil, Army of Light, St. Germain

When people come for the first time to our (old) house, they first admire the vaulted ceiling. Then they look around at the walls. After a minute or two, they ask, "Who's the painter?", while they look at hubby, who is 6'3" (1 m.92). When he shakes his head, they then look at my son, who is 6'4" tall, and ask him the same question. The latter also shakes his head. Then they both point at little ole' me.

They look stunned and confused, because how could a rather short and gregarious female have painted these big bold, and sober abstract -like paintings?
 I am not a feminist by any means, but I chuckle because it never ceases to amaze me what assumptions people  in general make about how and what a female (painter in this case) should look like, or what subject matter they should paint. 
Like to know your thoughts on this...also when they're totally opposite from what I, or others think:)


enjoy this weekend, bloggie friends!

22 comments:

Whitemist said...

I get that in a slightly different way. because I work as a scientist and investigator and have this very analytical mind, they do not believe i have done the work i have done. It is only peoples perceptions, which are subject to strange and unusual prejudices.

Gaelyn said...

I love the Army of Light painting.

So why should people think a big man painted these, I can't really figure that out. Yet people's first impressions are often so unusual, and wrong. I get asked all the time if I'm a volunteer. Maybe because I'm older and visitors think of Rangers as being young. Go figure.

jeannette stgermain said...

Joey,
Yes, I know what you mean! It sometimes seems as if one has to be arrogant and demanding before people doe believe you are qualified and knowledgable in one's field.

The first 10 years of practicing psychology I got that a lot because I looked young (and maybe not serious enough?) LOL you are right, many people make false assumptionse because of their prejudices.

jeannette stgermain said...

Gaelyn,
As I'm getting older myself:), I notice it more and more that somehow people think that when your older, your brain has shrunk, or you must not be up-to-date, or "with it" because you're not 35 anymore.

One exception is the people who are in the hiring positions. They ask for experience, and that's what we have, Gaelyn!!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

That feeling is SO familiar!! I cannot believe the times people have mistaken me for something other than I am.

I was the first woman ranger in Kruger National Park and people could never believe that I was going to be their guide and drive. I think it must have something to do with being a woman. Do people think we are not capable of doing the same and better than men?

Grrrr!!

jeannette stgermain said...

Joan,
LOL LOL No wonder we get along well! I probably will take another generation in the civilized world for people to realize that women can do most jobs, unless it is physically too taxing. The sad part is that not only the men are prejudiced, but the women as well:(
(of course, I am generalizing here!)

Hope you also got comments from people after the tour that they were sceptical at first, but that they saw that you were able to handle it?

DawnTreader said...

I think most of us are full of preconcieved ideas we're not even aware of. I worked for several years in an occupation for which I was really over-qualified (as medical secretary). It was sometimes quite amusing to see some people (for example doctors...) change in their behaviour towards me when they found out that ooops, this person has four or five years of academic study on her CV apart from what she needs for this job... Some were impressed, others (especially those with less education) intimidated, and some just confused!! I find that the longer I live, the harder it is to know how to introduce myself to new people. Now on top of it all I'm in early retirement and out of the "work-force" altogheter, and that's a category of people who really don't count for much anywhere... In my own mind, though, I think I'm still basically a Student of Life (still learning!)

The Green Stone Woman said...

I wonder why you say that you are by no means a feminist? Isn't any modern woman who defies being put in a box a feminist? You almost prove to be one by telling us your own story. Here people are making assumptions about you because you are a woman and they can't imagine you doing such a huge job. Isn't that awful? And listen to you commenters. All perfectly capable women who do their job as able as a man, but who have to explain themselves. All of us modern women are feminists, because we won't be put in a box and stay there.

Rosie said...

I've had the 'it can't have been you' thing quite a few times. Many years ago a friend I'd known for quite a while made a comment about a couple of paintings on our wall and said, of course, they would be Paul's choice - she was stunned/confused when I said no, they were mine and I'd bought them and brought them with me to our first home when we were married. It took ages for her to believe me:)

Dick said...

Never thought about how a female (painter) should look like, lol
So, no opinion.
The only thing I can say is that I really do like the painting, it's great.

crochet lady said...

I think we are prone to make assumptions. I have been surprised by people time and again and I try not to assume when it comes to people's passions and heartbeat. After all I'm sure by just looking at me people don't really glimpse who I am or what I love to do.
I think maybe the surprise I've felt towards others is not so much that I couldn't see a person being or doing this or that but that I am surprised my small little brain did not think bigger than it did.

Craver Vii said...

That's a neat effect in the Army of Light painting. Is that in oil? I painted with acrylics, but that was a long time ago.

jeannette stgermain said...

Dawn,
That is a difficult position to be in! It sounds like you only retired from one job, and I hope you know that you still count! You took up photography, and you took up blogging, so you are, like you say, still learning in some areas.
Anyway, I am glad you're here!!

jeannette stgermain said...

Irene,
You are so right, Irene, I (and I am glad, others too) refuse to be put in a box!

I should have given my own definition of feminist. To me it is a female who hates men and blames them for everything that went wrong in their life. Also, it is in my opinion a female who does not want to be under a male boss,s supervisor, etc.
I don't think that way about men, so that's why I don't call myself a feminist.

jeannette stgermain said...

Rosie,
Obviously, your friend didn't know you very well:)
Did you ask her why it was so hard to believe that it was you who bought the paintings?

jeannette stgermain said...

Dick,
Thanks Dick - this style is more common for me actually than my landscapes in oil or pastel.
Don't know how the ratio in Holland is for male painters to female painters. Here in the States it seems there are many more females who paint.

jeannette stgermain said...

Jen,
Thank you for being so honest. It's really easier if we don't make assumptions about people - then we are less surprised or disappointed.
I know that one reason for being confused with me, is because I did not dress artsy - but I was not able to because of my job.

jeannette stgermain said...

Carver Vii
Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting on my painting!
I mostly paint in oil, pastel, or watercolor, and this is one of my oil paintings.
May I ask why you don't paint anymore?

PhilipH said...

Hi,
Your "Army of Light" oil painting is intriguing.

At first I read the title as "Amy of Light" and I was looking for a small dog's face in it ... Silly old me. But it's a most interesting composition. I would certainly hang that on my sitting room wall!

jeannette stgermain said...

Philip,
Thank you for visiting my blog.

That's funny, Philip! Didn't know Amy was a dog's name (smile)...don't worry, I won't tell my friend Amy!

Thank you, this is one of the popular paintings.

Merisi said...

The assumptions people make at times!
I am sure I am not entirely free of them, but I sure hope my assumptions are little bit more .... say, sophisticated? *giggles*

I used to travel to the Southern Georgia with my four little kids. People were shocked when the first found out that my husband was not with us (poor thing, he had to work), but then, southern kindness and hospitality took over, and I didn't mind one bit being treated so extremely well, just because I was a mother vacationing on her own.

jeannette stgermain said...

Merisi,
Since that must have been some time ago that your kids were little, I can imagine the shock of people. It seems that in the South there's more emphasis on proper-ness:)