Painting Perceptions

We would all like to make a good first impression. For example when we go to a job interview. Do I look nice? Am I dressed appropriately? Do I sound intelligent? How will they perceive me? Now, let’s apply this to art. Does the painting look professional? Is it fitting into my genre? Is it bright enough? Does it make an intelligent statement? How will the spectator perceive it?
We know that art is a matter of taste. What you like and what I like is the result of two different perceptions. The perception is what initially draws us in at-a-glance. Artists are looking to make an impact of some sort and are high on perceptions. They could paint bright paintings or bold lines, paintings of people, pet painting and other subjects. However, an artist’s impact may not make a good first impression and the perception becomes a negative one. That’s when perception becomes a like or a dislike and the overall perception of the artist gets permanently established or potentially damaged.
Is it possible for an artist to know how his or her art is going to be perceived before the first brush stroke? We must be truthful to our art and not be influenced by others. Or, perhaps we should be influenced by others so that we can gear our art towards their taste and give a good perception? A gallery says “we want you to paint big, bold flowers on a 4′ x 6′ canvas.” This will be their perception of great art in their gallery. We paint it because we are being paid, even though their perception of bright paintings of flowers is not the perception we want to portray. You are working too closely with the painting to notice any faults. Even when you take a step back to get the overall look of the piece, you are still blinded by all the details. You need a fresh eye so you start asking family and friends for feedback but they are not honest with their comments and so you are still in doubt as to the perception. You don’t want to show it to an art professional for fear of a negative perception. But you do anyway and then you are surprised by their positive perception. Then you are thinking how could I have doubted my own perception?
Perhaps your perception of the “Irises” is high because it is a Van Gogh? What if you were walking by this painting in a gallery and had not noticed it until someone said “that’s a Van Gogh!” Your perception now becomes higher and you stop to look. Are we really truthful about our perceptions or are we just influenced by status?
Should we really listen to the art critics? Is their perception better than ours?
After all, what does anyone know? It’s just a perception!