The Idiot’s Weapon.

I was called an idiot.

Yeah. That happened. The person who referred to me as an “idiot,” doesn’t even know me (past minuscule contact through social media.)  This person’s just a friend of a friend.

However, WHY I was called an idiot was what got me.

You know those (I guess idiotic) surveys one can take – like on Buzzfeed? Unbeknownst to me, taking a pointless survey makes me an idiot. The act itself—of taking a survey—makes one an idiot?

So what I want to know what earth element I am, what flower describes me, that I was a samurai in a past life or what movie character most represents me?

I needed to define “idiot:”

id·i·ot  [id-ee-uht]:
noun a person of the lowest order in a former and discarded classification of mental retardation, having a mental age of less than three  years old and an intelligence quotient under 25.

Mental retardation? Wow.

Still, I’ve been called worse.

There are times in our lives when we’re not treated well by others. Everyone experiences the occasional abusive indignant person.

Use it for creative fodder.

I can’t tell you how many paintings I’ve created based upon the way others have treated a me, a dear friend, or a family member.

The Wasteland 
©Lynette K. Waters-Whitesell & Waters Color Studio. All Rights Reserved.

The first time I exhibited “The Wasteland,” The reactions received were also in my mind when I created the piece. Many of the grumblings I heard were about the “violent nature” or “poor deer.” However, I’m sure my version of these phrases were different from the literal connection some viewers made. Overall, most probably believed I was a PETA activist.

No. This had nothing to do LITERALLY with a deer at all.

Think back to high school literature… I’m sure everyone had their own version of Mrs. Williams. Mrs. Williams was my grammar, literature, English high school teacher. I recall her bubbly nature, gleaming smile and overtly joyous nature when it came to breaking down works of writing. How in blazes, could she be so excited to make our class dig deeper into similes, foreshadowing, personification? Who cares?!

But then we studied the metaphor: something used, or regarded as being used, to represent something else; symbol.

BOOM. Got it. I immediately connected with literature at that point. It’s imagery in words. Sure, that seems so obvious now, but in high school, I was fighting education. Gawking at a baseball player was much more interesting than onomatopoeia (even if it is fun to say.)

But metaphor… that I could relate to in art.

In visual art, most subjects are symbolic of something else, someone else, or something you may never know or experience. The specifics of that metaphor is irrelevant. What is pertinent is that you’ve looked deeper into that artist’s work. Have you considered why that artist chose certain  images, colors, composition—even scale? Why is it so brightly colored, or juxtaposed to something that may not make sense to you? Study the imagery, find the elements of the piece. Consider it a puzzle for only you to figure out. And if you can’t at least embrace the work, at least respect it for that artist’s visual, metaphorical voice. (Whether you like the piece is completely a different blog entry.)

If the pen is mightier than the sword, then—in my mind—the paintbrush is a bazooka. I’ll continue to guard off buffoonery with my weapon of choice.