Art Battle

Last night, my cousin invited me to an art event. It was an art battle: two rounds of eight artists painting for 20 minutes. Two winners from each of the rounds competed in a third round for the championship. It was a pretty entertaining event. I’d go again.

It was great to watch artists paint live. It’s a process that you don’t often get to see. Watching a painting come together made me think of how I used to do photography. I thought about how the foreground reveals itself before the background when taking a picture, and how the process is reversed when painting. The colours, too, are different; with a photograph you search for the right palette, with painting, you create it.

What was nicest about the event, though, was being able to spend time with my cousin, who, herself, is an amazing artist. The conversation was disjointed and varied. No topic was off limits but neither was any one a focus of the conversation. Of course, work, dating, and family came up. I found out a little bit about her and she about me.

It’s funny, going out with family. Simultaneously, I felt protective over her but also wanting to enable her freedom. I wanted to ask about her and her family but didn’t want to ask for more information than she was willing to reveal. I wanted to get her opinion on things but didn’t want her to think less of me as a result of learning more about me.

She’s pretty cool, though. We agreed to meet again to visit the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition at the AGO. I hope we actually pull through on these plans.

There’s a comparison to be made here, between family and art: there’s a lot of it out there – over one hundred, in my case – but only some of it is good, and even less arrests your attention. Even if you make it – I had busy, love-making grandparents – more of it is made for you. And, it exists, whether you take part in that world or not.

Thinking about it, I like more art than I do members of my family. I’m glad my cousin and I get along well enough to see each other annually. I should attend more art events and make some phone calls.

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