I’ve decided to spread my wings and critique paintings made by humans. A painting is where a human puts dabs of color on something called a “canvas,” white scratchy material stretched over slivers of wood. They call this “art.”
I’m staring at a painting by Madam Butka that features pears. It’s a wonderful piece and so skillfully executed that you can almost smell the fruit. I find that the metaphorical resonance of the succulent pears verges on codifying how accessible her work is.
The pear is neither the object of objecthood, nor the art-object. It is rather the oblique object of her intentions. She is an advocate of the Erotic Fruit aesthetic and the colorful representation of the sexy pears which threatens to penetrate caverns, explores the realms of chaos and heartbreak.
However, Madam Butka omitted one important element in her painting: the feline element. Her painting suffers from the lack of the puss theme which permeates our world, our lives, yea, even our senses and centers on an interest in the universality of our biological landscape. She needs to catify her painting. (Yes, “catify” is a word I invented. If BillyBoy Shakespeare can invent words, then TeddyBoy Sinclair can also invent words.) Perhaps just a cat paw that extends into the bowl of pears; or the tip of a tail that slaps the side of the bowl.
Dr. Brenda Butka has had a long career as a people veterinarian practicing as a pulmonary specialist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Not only is she an accomplished artist (although she needs to learn how to include the feline element in her paintings), but she is also a poet. Her musings have been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the Annals of Internal Medicine, Threepenny Review, Florida Review, Slant, Cortland Review, and many other human poetry rags.
She currently lives somewhere in the Tennessee wilderness, whittling pencils to write poetry, and mixing pigments for her paintings. She obtains her brushes from the feathers of a local chicken flock.