Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Reality Shows can teach us about Survival (Tooth and Nail!)

(An old Norwegian photo showing my husband's great grandfather's land)
I’ve watched a few reality shows in my day. After awhile, I get tired of the arguments, the scheming and the pettiness. But if that’s your cup of tea, you may like the cutting edge changes coming up next season.

The Discovery channel is pushing the envelope with “Naked and Afraid” where the participants mirror savages, except without the loin cloths. If the forbidden jungles are not enough, these survivors are baring it all in an attempt to get more ratings and viewers which may end up mushrooming into a popular new trend.
(1840 Solbulck -  Norway) family photos
You never know what the reaction of viewers will be. I remember showing my nude drawings to relatives at a family reunion years ago. I was so proud! One of my drawings had won first prize in the linear category. It was a brush and ink drawing of a live model where the brush had never left the page from the first touch to paper.

I expected a compliment, perhaps even praise for my amazing prize-winning fete. Instead, I got hushed and whispered reactions. People were embarrassed. They glanced down or turned away. I was shocked by their reactions of what I conceived as a beautiful work of art. 

Some viewers of the new reality shows may have the same feelings of disgust or rejection. While nudity may be a ploy to grab attention and get new viewers, the show actually has a different purpose. Pitted against the most stark and difficult surroundings imaginable, the real focus is not the challenge of nature, but the difficulty in juggling human relationships.

(Fjords -- Norway photos taken 1995)
That’s the case in almost any undertaking: marriage, divorce, friendships, neighbors and
co-workers, parents and youth. Take it a bit further by delving into art leagues where people jockey for position pitting artistic genius against talented newcomers and you have a recipe for angst, envy and failure.

The battle is to the fittest and the prize (sales) often goes to the best marketer, the most prolific painter, or the most outspoken. The fact that fresh talent is discovered and newbie’s have a platform to show their wares is often a pleasant byproduct.
(Port City -- Norway; family photo taken 1995)
How do you handle stress? Do you have good communication skills or do you have prickly rough edges that others may have to negotiate. Sometimes it’s not enough to be a talented artist. You must learn how to sell your art and push your talent without ruffling other people’s feathers.

"Twigs and Twitters 11 x 14 oil on canvas