middle age

Steve Gompf, Oreo Cookies and the Art of Constructive Criticism

Portrait of Steve Gompf by Michele Bledsoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2018, the world lost a great artist

and I lost my friend.

A true creative genius..

Steve Gompf was one of the most wildly imaginative

and passionate artists I have ever known..

and he taught me the true meaning

of constructive criticism.

 

When we shared a gallery years ago

my work had become very gray.

Soft tones and faded colors..

I was struggling with my palette

and I had lost my way.

It was Steve who brought me back.

 

Wonderfully eccentric,

playful and engaging..

Steve was also as blunt as a sledgehammer.

 

He marched up to my work

and held an Oreo cookie against a “dark” area

in one of my paintings..

“That’s not dark!” he exclaimed,

THIS is dark.”

I was floored.

He was absolutely right.

After this artistic epiphany

my work improved dramatically.

 

When Steve asked me to paint his portrait

I had no words..

but I was thrilled at the opportunity

to pour out my love and gratitude

in a way we would both understand.

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Spiritual Obsessions and the Art of Broken Glasses

"The Ghost and My Obsession" by Michele Bledsoe

“The Ghost and My Obsession”  Michele Bledsoe

While painting the other day
A lens popped out of my reading / painting glasses
And landed on my palette.
In other words
I painted so hard, my glasses broke.

As it is now
I have to TEAR myself away from my easel
to perform the simplest tasks –
eating
showering
refilling my empty coffee cup..
but now I had to leave the house
and get new glasses.

As I drove around
I noticed
the further away I was from my painting
the more anxious I became.
I was longing to go back to it..
Back to my studio
Back to my painting
Back at my easel
where I feel closest to God.