Thanks Cleveland!

Check out this exciting review of Who Does She Think She Is? that appears in the Plain Dealer Reporter out of Cleveland. Our favorite line: “Who Does She Think She Is?” is a must-see for anyone of any gender who is trying to mute the naysaying voices and listen to their inner artist.”

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3 Responses to “Thanks Cleveland!”

  1. We saw the film in Cleveland last night, and enjoyed it immensely. I was reminded of how closely our creative urges are intertwined with meaning in our lives, and what a sacred right it is to make art. I was really shocked at the gender divide this film exposes, in terms of the social and economic influences, and the effects on how artists develop and progress. The success of these artists is truly an inspiration. Thank you for bringing their stories to us.

  2. I too am the mother of three boys. (Is this a prerequisite?) I mothered with sincere abandonment! In the midst of the “occupied years”, I happened upon a biography of a woman named Alva Myrdal (sp?). She was a diplomat that believed that a woman could do both family and career by juxtaposing one next to the other in a sort of time line. I was inspired by her, yet, at the same time, read of the dysfunction in at least one of her children. What to do?

    In the earlier years, I turned out 1-2 paintings a year. Unlike the women in your film, I believed, and was raised to think, that I should always come last and would only be able to feel free enough to create when everything else was done, and everyone else was taken care of. Further down the road, I realized that was impossible.

    I have had to learn to protect my boundaries: staying away from “crazy-makers”, saying “no” to numerous requests for my time, and appearing to be rude in lengthy conversations. I find that I am always in a hurry…..that is how I am able to “get to the work”.

    The hardest obstacle, however, has always been guilt. My work at home was not considered to be work and my artwork was deemed “fun” by friends and family. My birth family does not value art. I contributed little monetarily. My other women friends gradually returned to outside work when their children entered school while I was considered to the the self-indulgent one. I admit that I bought into that and still do. Who said life would be simple?

    Your film couldn’t have been more meaningful for me. It documented my struggle…..both the pleasure and the pain. It was edited beautifully with a pacing that could only come from the yin. I have read, so far, two of Leonard Shlain’s books and have the newest in my queue…..he is a genius!

    As far as festival acceptances, I must say that I have learned to value the process over the product. I believe that we must give our gifts to the world without strings attached…..what will be will be. Does it help to know that you so-moved the Cleveland audience? I hope so.

    Carry on your important work, Pamela. Thank you for your gift.

    Sincerely,

    Linda Hutchinson
    http://www.hutchinsonart.com
    http://www.hutchinsonart.blogpot.com

  3. Will, thanks so much for writing. I am so happy that you got one of the major but unstated themes of the film—that to “make” things is to be human. To be creative is a sacred right, yet, it is one that all of us can access. And as for the gender discrepancies—it is shocking! I had NO idea how unequal things were in the art world until we made the film. Instead, I thought it was my problem for not getting the representation for my work.

    Linda, I had to laugh about your question about mothering boys as a prerequisite to art. I do know lots of women who have boys…who are painters, sculptors and musicians. I’ve speculated that all that boy energy DROVE them to expressiveness.

    I too grew up with the message to “put myself” last. Or, more, “good girls are polite and concerned and make others feel cared for.” And it is a GOOD thing to take care of others….but does it have to be at our own expense??? That’s the problem. For years, I too, went as fast as I could between reading to my boys, volunteering at their schools, finding their socks and making their meals to trying to do my own painting. And yes, I can so relate to the notion that I “got to have fun” in the studio….

    I will say that, after years of working on this film, my family fully supports this work. I will never forget back in 2003 –five years ago—I announced at the dinner table that I was going to make a film about women artists. My three boys just sat there.
    Silent. Finally, the oldest- who was 14 at the time, said, “mom, you don’t even know how to turn on the camera!” My husband actually thought it was a good idea—until he learned that I was not just going to interview some painter friends in our neighborhood. Let’s just say that there was much skepticism all around. And yet, I persisted. And, my oldest son—now says that watching me make this film has given him the courage to work at realizing his own dreams. My two younger sons will be making a video this summer—and feel very encouraged to do this by my example.

    So, thank you so so so much for watching and for sharing your wonderful story with me and with the friends of our film, Linda.

    Oh, and by the way, Leonard Shlain is a genius and he is also kind and caring and very funny! Did you realize that Tiffany Shlain is his daughter?? Both so talented—I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to meet them and

    of course, all our other wonderful women…

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