Friday, March 5, 2010


I follow other blogs, like most of us nowadays, and one that I really like is written by a young woman married to an up and coming musician and mother to two fine kids; who is also promoting the Canadian 'Indie' music scene. She writes about the highs and lows this life can bring trying to establish her good man's career plus giving other struggling musicians a way to get known. (check it out: Underground Arts Railroad - link below) The other day she blogged about what it was like to be a partner of a musician and be the 'unseen' one who does so much but basically is ignored as the 'famous' one gets all the limelight.
Well that got me thinking about being a partner in a creative life. Now, as I've bogged before, I've been in a few 'partnerships', some with creative souls, some without, and my personal experience - and also from observations garnered from many years at shows etc - is that there always is an "ALPHA-Artist".
In other words; there is generally one creative partner who comes first in the artworld and the 'other' partner takes a back seat to them. In a relationship where only one person is creative, this poses little or no problems ( except being ignored while your partner is mobbed by adoring fans) but in the dual talent partnership - not quite so much the happy families.
And, most unfortunately, it's generally the woman who takes that back seat.
Witness the Pratts - Christopher and Mary - for many years, Chris Pratt was the golden boy of the artworld and don't get me wrong as he paints exquisitely, but Mary Pratt was the unseen force behind him. Yet she herself was a phenomenal painter and not until those two were divorced did anyone ever see her work.
In the history of art there are many illustrations of this. Mainly due to the fact women weren't accepted as being worthy artists in their own right for many many eons of time - and there are documented stories of many of the old masters 'wives' or 'woman acquaintances' painting large parts or entire paintings that had the fellow's signature attached......but that is another post for another day.
Let me just say that from what I've been through and observed so far, the dual creative partnership -in a visual artworld anyway- doesn't work in an even footing scenario. Perhaps someone out there knows otherwise, but I've yet to see or hear it being so. And most decidedly, I've yet to witness a woman artist taking precedence over her male artist partner.
Not trying to be all 'feminist' (ok, a bit) here but what makes us as women artists so willing to climb into that back seat?
Just wondering.......
The pic is: "Filio" by Jasper Oostland...he paints some of the better animal paintings I've seen

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