Sometimes I will engage a person looking at my work and it’s suddenly clear I have misunderstood. I thought they were looking at my work in awe, but apparently it was confusion — or worse!
The person doesn’t seem to know what to say to me, and they fumble. Occasionally that fumble turns to “Gosh, it looks like you have a lot of fun with your work.”
Well, that’s pretty neutral. Doesn’t sound too bad.
Oh, yes, I love this work! I gush. Then I realize — they’re really trying to get away because they don’t find the work compelling at all. They might not understand, or they might not like it, but they want to be polite — so they unwittingly downgrade my work to something frivolous, frolicsome or lighthearted.
Hey! I want to yell: It’s called a WORK of art, not a PLAY of art. I put some serious effort in here!
Then I realize that the work we do in the studio or in field is supposed to look effortless. I don’t want the technique to show. I want the ART to show. It should look as if I’m having fun.
Maybe it should be called a play of art.