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Monday, August 07, 2006

A Letter to LA Stuckism

[ On July 31st, 2006, we received the following e-mail from artist Katie McCall. We encourage readers to e-mail us their comments, essays, and opinions. You never know - we just might publish them! ]

Dear me. Your site ( ) is about the most reviving and refreshing website I have ever visited. I just want to say I am deeply inspired and appreciate the statements and sentiment behind all you are doing. Feel free to stop reading there. Now I will simply babble about the WHYs.

I've been oil painting since the age of 10. I painted like it was as necessary as water and oxygen. I went without sleep, food, conversation. Simply because of the "must" I felt with painting. Then I went to art school. Because isn't that what you're supposed to do for college when you're an "aspiring" artist? I now know that I already WAS an artist. In college in the beginning years of the 90s I was greeted by the art elite, arms stretched toward me, with promises of fame and enlightenment. To my utter SHOCK and dismay, they demanded I throw away my ancient oil paints and pick up garbage. Or at least mix urine with my oils. When I refused and cried that this was my very life, the substance of my soul, they failed me miserably. They complained I "thought too much." I "tried to hard." I "told too many stories." They defined me as "common."

They took me to gallery openings. They showed me the REAL art of the day, not the "craft" I was stupidly holding on to. I remember the bright lights, the massive blank walls. I remember the snobby near-retiring wealthy patrons who seemed to hold some sort of inside joke. I remember the attitudes. Eventually I dropped out of college. Discouraged and pained, I set up life as a graphic designer. I obviously just didn't "have what it took" to be a REAL artist. In depression I gave away or destroyed over 200 paintings and drawings. I stopped painting because it hurt too much. That was 1994.

Flash forward to 2006. June. I was introduced to a figurative artist. When I asked him what he does for a day job, he replied that he painted. He looked puzzled. My jaw hit the floor. Thus began seven months of discovery. Painting is here again. I wasn't such an odd-fellow. I picked up my brushes. I paint like it's my life again. And your website's sentiments ring in my ears like the little girl who shouted out that the emperor had no clothes on. For such a time as this. Now is the moment. The world is finally listening. Thank you!!