The Beauty of the Average

My paintings were recently described as 'delicate' which I took to mean that they are soft, weak and not vivid enough. They lack the colour and thrust that all good art should have. They speak, but their voice is drowned by the powerful, confident voices of artworks from seasoned artists in the online gallery that was so kind to display my paintings for several months. (They were taken down because they did not attract much attention).

You too might agree that my paintings are painfully average, almost bare, just plain black and white. But is that not what makes them such GREAT works of art? Because they tell my story so precisely? An ordinary, unspectacular story that keeps you coming back to this blog because it is a mirror of your own modest life.

If this is true, then maybe another description of my paintings should be that they are not good but they are RIGHT. Right because they sound exactly as they should. They do not aspire to be more than what their author is: an average, parochial girl from Kenya with nothing more than a standard education and not much of a background. A girl who has done nothing astonishing except working hard. She keeps trying even when the odds are against her. Often she looses, but after she gets over her bruised ego, she try again.

Those paintings therefore, like a map, tell you the journey of this humble girl. And like any good map, they show you the paths and roads of her life exactly as they are laid out. A life of struggle and mistakes but also a life of triumph and joy. A life and a story that does not intimidate you because you can relate to it so well.

In this way, you can walk the journey with this plain girl. You can share her wisdom, learn from her, teach her and laugh with her. Sometimes, you might have to cry with her, or just wipe her tears. Other times, she will encourage and inspire you. All in all, you will be walking together, not following or being followed, just side by side.