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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What’s not to Love – or Hate?

A glimpse of my December art show at Arts for Act gallery in downtown Fort Myers.
Yes, I’m one of those sappy people who watched Sound of Music to hear once again the familiar and wonderful songs of long ago and to watch Carrie Underwood’s take on a timeless classic.

What I was not prepared for was the avalanche of hatred aimed not only at her, but at her faith after the showing. Was the criticism aimed at her performance? No. It was simply a barrage of anger leveled at her Christian faith and her belief in the Bible; cheap shot in my opinion.

Are these the same hate mongers who demand free speech for themselves, but wish to deny it to others? Are they the ones who yell racism and discrimination whenever it suits their political agenda with little evidence to back it up. A ploy designed to stir up trouble?

More of my paintings on the brick wall in the interior office (sorry for the lamp glare!).
Where does this kind of hatred come from? Envy? Self-loathing? An empty soul? Christianity is a religion of love: “Love thy neighbor as yourself,” “Love your enemies,” “Do good to those who despitefully use you,” "judge not," "forgive and you shall be forgiven," and on and on.

Christians are sinners who are striving to do better. They are given ugly labels they do not deserve. They are only human. Why is it that when they stumble or reveal their vulnerability they are laughed at or worse called a “hypocrite” for making a mistake? The mockers defile them with crude language while their own behavior would make a sailor blush.

My paintings along the back wall of Arts for Act Arcade Gallery downtown Fort Myers -- entire month of December!
I’ve always cheered for the underdog, but when did we start putting vulgar language and crude behavior on a pedestal? Since when was innocence a negative and raunchiness applauded? Our “ship of state” is sinking into the mud, and I for one am saddened by our descent into degradation.

I think that’s why I paint portraits of children and enjoy painting scenes that children will find funny or inspiring. I like their fresh perspective, their trusting and simple belief in goodness and their frank and open dialogue. If someone is unpleasant or mean, they’re not afraid to tell it like it is. They see through the outward trappings of poverty and color into the heart. They can spot evil and avoid people who give off negative vibes.

"Beach Buddies II" mixed media on canvas
We should encourage this goodness before it becomes tainted by peer pressure and adult provocation and perversion. These are our children. They are our future. Do we want a world where hate rules and crude behavior becomes the norm? Where will we find inspiration or beauty in such a place? How will we survive if the passion to deface and destroy becomes the norm as it was in Rome?

"First Daffodil" acrylic on canvas