Why say the poet and prophet are not often united? For if they are not they ought to be. – J.M.W. Turner
When I was little, I had a dream that was so vivid it still seems like some sort of reality leak, in which I was in Westminster Cathedral – great seats, too –witnessing Queen Elizabeth’s coronation. I remember noting that she seemed barely older than my baby sitter, who I will call Becky Bronco, because that’s what we called her behind her back. Years later I visited England, and through conversation I became aware of an imbalance existing there between the sexes, in the workplace and in politics. I had to ask, how does that explain Maggie Thatcher? I was informed that Maggie Thatcher is not really a woman. Oh, okay. But I’ll never let that dampen my love for her. We’ve come too far for that, right Meg?
So, I painted this portrait of the queen, McCartney’s “pretty nice girl”, sitting in what must be Westminster’s Silly Room, judging from the perspective. I painted the interior in actual Martha Stewart colors. It’s a good thing. The 5-o’clock shadow and the title were an afterthought. Really. An art critic in Indianiana once missed that point and panned me for wasting his precious time and scant brain cells by mindlessly illustrating a dumb pun. He obviously didn’t have time or phone privilege to call me and ask, either. If his finger was broke, he could have dialed the phone with his elbow or had his friend Raoul dial for him.
If an artist is rejected by one critic, it’s only one opinion. If an artist is rejected by a 10,000 critics, it’s still only one opinion. So don’t take criticism personally. Occasionally an artist has to just grab his ankles and take it.