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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Make your Voice Heard -- Vote your Conscience!

"Looking Outward" 16x20 acrylic canvas; Old window frame, painting on glass = 3-D experience!

It’s all about perception.”  This statement has become a political strategy. The meaning is clear: “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you stand for; what matters is what other people think you stand for and how you are perceived.”

In other words, if you can pull the wool over people’s eyes some of the time, you may just fool them into voting for you. After the election, all bets are off!

Unfortunately, this has become the norm in politics making our decisions at the polls more difficult than they have ever been before. Politicians say one thing and do another. There is inconsistency between their behavior and their words; but there’s one little secret they won’t tell you. If you examine their record, you can see exactly how they vote in Congress, what legislation they support and whom they side with. Those are the facts they can’t hide from.

Perception colors our choices and our responses to other people. The words people use to communicate are linked to past experiences. Two people may use the same word, but have an entirely different meaning attached to it. Relationships, environment, and family influence determine how we see the world and how we communicate with each other.

"Sea Swirls" acrylic drawing, work-in-progress (3rd in my Seaside Series)
The best way to illustrate the power of perception is taken from a familiar story by John Maxwell in  Developing the Leader Within You.

“After World War II, a general and his young lieutenant boarded a train in England. The only seats left were across from a beautiful young lady and her grandmother. The general and the lieutenant sat facing the women. As the train pulled out, it went through a long tunnel.

"For about ten seconds, there was total darkness. In the silence of the moment, those on the train heard two things — a kiss and a slap. Everyone on the train had his or her own perception of what happened.

“The young lady thought to herself, I’m flattered that the lieutenant kissed me, but I’m terribly embarrassed that Grandmother hit him!

“The Grandmother thought, I’m aggravated that the young man kissed my granddaughter, but I’m proud she had the courage to retaliate!

“The general sat there, thinking to himself, My lieutenant showed a lot of guts in kissing that girl, but why did she slap me by mistake?

“The lieutenant was the only one on the train who knew what really happened. In that brief moment of darkness, he had the opportunity to kiss a pretty girl and slap his general.”

"Sea Swirls" acrylic on canvas; 2nd work-in-progress (It's all about layering)

Another interesting story comes from http://Sulekha.com (Delhi)

“One day a man opened the garage door, which startled a large butterfly. It flew immediately to its perceived escape, the circle-topped window where it frantically tried to exit through the invisible wall of closed glass.

“The man raised the third-car garage door in hopes of aiding its escape. This caused the butterfly to fly higher and higher and become entangled in a spider web.

“Fearful that it would remain entangled in the web, the man selected a long-handled broom to assist him escaping the tangled threads.

 “At this, the butterfly returned to furiously pumping his wings and banging into the glass, which was, in his perspective, the pathway of escape, but remained his cage.

Success Principle
 “By simply turning his focus to one side, the butterfly would have easily exited his prison. Rather, due to his intent on one direction, he remained confined, captive.

“Every day in our lives we focus on one side of the problem, not looking at it from others points of view. If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from that person's angle as well as from your own.”

This is true in life and in many other endeavors at work or at play. When we create we never know how our work is perceived? People view it from the vantage point of their own experience. What may seem beautiful or interesting to the artist may trigger something entirely different in someone else.

"Sea Breeze" acrylic on 30x24 canvas; First in my Seaside Series
This is why juried competition is often frustrating on many levels. The judges see the canvas from his or her past learning experiences and their personal expertise and vision. The artist creates from his own internal perceptions. Each has a different perspective on what they see. A determination is made, but it is more subjective than objective. 

The best an artist can do is to keep painting from his or her own passion and life experiences until others share the joy and excitement the artist felt at creation.