I Will Not Separate My Art From My Politics

I have to be honest and tell you that I've been heavy-hearted lately. It's been weighing on me for years, really, and this week in particular, it's hard to find the motivation to paint because there's a huge gaping hole inside of me. Trump and McConnell are destroying the America I believed in. Everyone who cares about others is doing their best to follow the rules, wear masks, keep their distance, and only go out when necessary - but so many others mock these measures and openly defy them, putting others in danger. Putting my immuno-compromised husband in danger. Putting my healthcare worker family members in danger. Putting my essential-worker high school students in danger. Putting the employees at my local grocery store in danger. Yet another innocent black man is murdered in the street, in broad daylight, in front of other people, by a horrible police officer, while three other horrible police officers let it happen. There are protests and outbursts of rioting all over the nation because of it. I hear just as many people decry the riots as I do the death of George Floyd and that right there is a big problem in this country. That's why Trump succeeds: he's convinced people that property and money are worth more than certain people's lives, and as long as you can believe you're one of the untouchables, everyone else is expendable. If you're a friend of mine on FB you know my views loud and clear - I don't mince words. If you only know me through my artwork you may think I just paint pretty pictures. The truth is that my work concerns the truth. There is no art for me without authenticity and truth. Art is always somewhat autobiographical and this is what you should know: what may simply look like a pretty plant is actually a commentary on what we choose to value and what we choose to prune. That Common Mullein? We'd all mow it down or walk by it in a heartbeat because it's not like a rose in full bloom. It's a plant that almost no one notices, or understands its worth, or has even seen in full bloom. I myself have never seen it bloom. But I saw it like this and I thought it was beautiful, so I stayed around to get to know it and capture what is beautiful in it. There is something beautiful in everyone - and I believe this even when I can't see it and I differ greatly with someone's views. I believe in humanity. I will always believe in the good of humanity. His Holiness the Dalai Lama once said the reason we're appalled by what's bad in the news but can easily overlook what's good is that WE are inherently good. That said, I am no less flawed than anyone else and this may be one of my biggest flaws: I have no patience and zero tolerance for blind hypocrisy and bigoted beliefs. If I discover that anyone - friend, art admirer, or otherwise - holds these views, don't be surprised one day to find yourself blocked or unfriended - online and in real life. You may be offended by my strict views, but trust me, I am more offended by your flippant views of human life and I don't need you to buy my work. #blacklivesmatter #georgefloyd


© 2019, Rowena F. Finn. All rights reserved.