More About Bitches

Three Women 2005 oil on linen 36” x 24” (detail - Mother) 

When I first thought about writing of my experiences with bitchy women, I realized I needed to tell about my background in the area first - mainly involving my mother and my sister (Why I Painted Three Women).   I then went on to tell some funny stories about women I met when I was first married and living in London (Bitches and Me).  Matter-of-fact, the whole topic first came up in my entry About Julie and Julia, and how I think it’s absence of bitchiness and Botox is so fabulous.  At that time, I hadn’t realized I have such extensive material - really! 

I had an experience just today that left me with a vague hurt feeling.  That is a sign of experience - to dish your digs disguised as niceties, leaving the person with a vague feeling of being wronged.  

Being an artist, I am sort of used to put downs, about not being a career woman, not selling my paintings for 6 figures, stuff like that.  But somehow as I have become more confident, the attacks have lessened - almost like how a lioness will go after the weak as prey.  I think I emit a different vibe than I used to.  Painting in studio space I share with other artists at the Art Students’ League of New York really toughened me up - at the beginning I swear it was worse than group therapy.  (My best friend used to tell me back in college that I needed to develop a hard outer shell!)  But what happened today was just a very subtle insult - that only another artist would recognize.  I know there will be those of you who might think, oh she is just being too sensitive, but there is history with this woman, a fellow artist who seems to enjoy the company of sycophants.  She needs to feel like top dog.  Believe me - after growing up with my sister, I am familiar with the type.  You know the type: whatever you do, whatever your accomplishment, large or small, they always turn the conversation around to be about them. 


Clearing 2  2009  oil on canvas 30 x 30 inches

Okay I will cut to the chase.  We went out with these “friends”.  They act like they really want to be your friend when it suits them, but then they never ask you to do anything; when you call them they often don’t call back.  Well, there was a scene at the restaurant ... She stormed out, making a big scene.  Then, a note came today in the mail - I won’t go into details except to say it left me with the vague feeling: this is really intended as a put-down.  Trying to sound nice, she said in the note -  that I paint pretty, well-crafted paintings.  Give me a break! 

My paintings have beautiful colors applied with confidence, sensitivity and a sense of abandon.  Well-crafted sounds like, well, a craft.  Painting abstract is not a craft.  It is bravery made visible.   It is.  Really. You try it.  Anyone can copy a photograph if they try hard enough.  Okay, go ahead and think she meant well when she wrote pretty and well-crafted.  Maybe she didn’t mean any harm.  Maybe she was just trying to sound nice.  I guess if it had come from someone who I felt cared about me, I would cut them some slack.

But would you really call Clearing 2 (above)- pretty and well-crafted?   I would not.  I don’t know how to describe it:  I like the colors, and the feeling and the spontaneity.  I wasn’t thinking when I painted it.  I wasn’t planning - I was feeling.  I was letting the color move me.  This painting was not crafted - well or otherwise.


I have so many stories on this topic!

Bitches and Me!

How I Became Trixie

Why I Painted Three Women (early years)

About Julie and Julia

Overhead Smash (tennis bitches)

Why I Painted Three Women - Second Thoughts (2013)

originally published: August 28, 2009


© Trixie Pitts 2009