In the Studio Today... Historical Mural Painting


Leapin' for Obama, originally uploaded by Delta Niner.

My guess is that there will be a lot more murals to come in the next four years. It is a wonderful thing to see. This one is in Houston, Texas, outside of campaign headquarters there. This photo has been viewed on Flickr over 11,000 times. I think art tends to reflect what we are going through in the world, and artists really seem to be responding to Barack Obama's historical significance right now. His message of change, the idea of prosperity for all people- it is a really special time for the world, and I kept hearing people say how proud they were to be Americans today.

Yet, I got a pretty seething comment on my blog today, eluding to the fact that Marin County is "pure segregation" and wondering what this election will do for that. This goof was telling me to "paint black families, moving into their new homes in San Anselmo and Fairfax, and going to school with my kids." Sorry to disappoint your false sense of reality, but there really are plenty of black folks here, and yes, my kids attend school with children of color and they love them like all the other kids. I might paint a portrait of Obama's beautiful family someday, but until then, I have commissions from paying customers to help pay my own rent.

I don't know who keeps writing me these senseless messages, but it is really hateful, especially at a time when peace and hope have a real chance to prosper more than ever. Do I have to sit here and share with this freak who is writing me all the Black, Asian, Guatamalan, Korean, Thai, Hawaiian and so on... folks that live amongst me and yes, that I have invited into my home here? Do I really have to tell you that my sons attend a public school with black children to make you feel that Marin is not racist? That I have been a minority in a Church in Marin City? That one of my oldest friends is a white female preacher in a primarily black church community? That I have bathed a black person in a nursing home and tried to assist her in every way that I possibly could? That I have helped people that can't walk or see? That I have friends with children that are disabled? Friends and family with cancer? That I do care about all people? I hope there are not more people like you out there that don't believe in change right now... Our counry has spoken, and most people I know in my town, my friends, and family voted for Obama. Hopefully, he will draw the best and the brightest to work with him in Washington, and people will want to come and be a part of history, and help change things with fresh ideas. I believe things can only get better.

Why not talk about that, rather than put down poor artists that can't afford to pay their debt from attending art school? I have volunteered more time in the last 2 years to my community than I ever have in my entire life, and I get asked, almost weekly, to create art for free and donate it to this fundraiser, and the next one. Right now, 3 local fundraisers here have asked me for donations.... And yes, I will try to accomodate them, in between my paid work, my family, my volunteering for local schools, writing letters on behalf of other artists, newsletter design for groups for free... Please go and try to fluster someone else, Mr. Hateful Blogger. Marin loves people of all ethnicities and I have meet more worldly people here than I ever could have imagined.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,

First off I wish to say I love your artwork you showcase on this blog, maybe someday I can afford to buy one of your paintings.

I am curious, has the rapid historical decline in the economy affected artists like yourself monetarily or is the art industry different from the rest of the sectors in the economy? I guess I ask this because I figure even in bad times the smart wealth still has their money and still has a hunger for good artwork.

Sorry for posting off topic, just want to get an opinion from someone who makes a living in the art sector.

Colleen Proppé said...

In reply to anonymous, above... Absolutely, yes. Recent shows of local Marin artists have had fewer sales in general since the beginning of 2008. Even well known artists in my area are seeing a decline in sales at this time. We are hoping that things will pick up a bit with the Holidays. I have decided to discount my work at this time to reflect the change in the economy. I am hoping it will help bring in some sales, but I certainly can not live on my art alone at this time. It has been, and continues to be, a passion that pays far less than I need to survive in the world, but with out my own art in my life, I am not happy. I also do graphic design and print work, and I intend to pick up some more clients in this arena after the Holidays.

Anonymous said...

Well I hope you do not have to pass away before you can reap the rewards of your work like so many famous artists have. Don’t mean to be morbid.

I wish you great success and hope the new administration can turn this big ship around for everyone.

Colleen Proppé said...

Thank you! I have a lot of hope things can only get better from where we are now.