So, many of you have seen the art I have created for my home in posts here and on http://www.MarieKJohnston.com (The Fiction and Folk Art of Marie K Johnston). I think that, judging from post likes, word of mouth and also my daughter’s favorable responses, it has been fairly well received. I was even planning/working towards opening by own Etsy boho art store sometime in the fall.
However, my husband and I have now had three conversations in which he has told me he dislikes my art as it is “not his style.” I have said I would take the many, many canvases down since he doesn’t like them, but this is not what he wants me to do. At a loss as how to fix the problem or to continue to practice my style under these circumstances, I have told him I don’t feel I can continue working on my art anymore and that we can remove my art table/supplies and use the space for a single bed, but keep my computer desk so that I can continue with my writing, which also dislikes and refuses to read.
The more I think about this, the more my feelings fester, the worse and worse I feel. How dare he say that my art, created for the simple purpose of therapy, is bad or “not his style”? How dare he say he doesn’t want me to take it down, though. What exactly was he trying to accomplish by telling me my art sucks but not to take it down, even going so far as telling me to “keep making it”?
I have a few ideas, and none of them are positive. I have written in past posts that he is controlling, abusive, enjoys ignoring me when I talk to him when he is playing video games, and also enjoys cutting my legs out from under me when I try to discipline our daughter.
The timing of his comments was about the recent time that I was considering divorcing him and taking Chloe someplace else, but changed my mind. Maybe he had felt I was beyond his control when I was considering this move, but ultimately I had to stay here with her because my medical condition makes it such that I cannot work (so wouldn’t be able to go back to teaching). Once I had decided to remain here, however, he knew he had won the battle for basically just financial reasons, but at least he had won, and felt secure enough in his position to insult my artwork the way he insults my novels? Perhaps.
Or, perhaps I’m little of a true artist at all, unable to take someone I love’s criticism without feeling like quitting? I really am hung up on this and don’t know how to proceed doing something I love if only 2 out of 3 members of my house actually like it.
So, feel free to respond to this question: in your opinion, is making art for therapy’s sake, even when poorly received/can no longer be displayed (in my opinion), worth my time–maybe with pieces (exactly ten) I’ll need to open my Etsy store? Your feedback is much appreciated.