Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Why Equals Make the Best Friends

Long before I heard the adage, "Equals make the best friends," I had thought about it and had come to that exact conclusion. Whether romantic, platonic or between artists, I believe there is one factor that would make two people equal in a relationship. That is security. Regardless of mutual interests, same social class or traits other than security, this factor must be present in order to develop a healthy friendshp based on equality.

Foremost, I would define security as possessing the ability to let the other person be themselves while being comfortable with one's own self. This would mean that you would be accepting of the other person's dreams, goals, skills, idiosyncrasies, general lifestyle and personality. You would respect the other person without feeling inferior or superior. The relationship could not thrive if either of the latter were present.

A secure person has no need to control his/her friend, and is not envious or needy. Again, this is true of platonic, romantic or artistic relationships. Even though art can be a competitive field, one is threatened neither by the quality of his friend's work nor the success of his career. Commonly, friends support each other.
I chose security as the determining factor because many other vital characteristics stem from this particular trait - namely trust, respect, integrity, honesty, and most importantly, self-esteem. These are all vital to a healthy friendship entered into by healthy people. While I would say that two unhealthy people could certainly have a lasting, unhealthy friendship as equals, I am not interested in discussing that type of equality......at this time.

Most of my platonic relationships have been with other women. Although like most women, I have experienced the occasional "girlfriend" who drains you with her insecurity, I feel extremely fortunate to have formed lasting friendships with women who are strong, independent, loyal and accepting of our differences.

Because of the nature of romantic relationships, where people often become enslaved by gender roles, it is not always so easy to achieve equality. Still, I have witnessed that some men are absolutely wonderfully secure in a relationship, treating their partner/friend as their equal.

Regarding relationships with other artists, I have established friendships with both men and women who are very good at what they do, have confidence in their abilities and again, recognize and accept the differences between us. However, this has not been true across the board. For the most part, I am glad to say that I view all of my artists friends as equals. Generally speaking, I am also interested in most artists' work.

Sonnet for New Books

Right now, these books, new and pure
Doctorow, Walker, Wharton and all
My ravenous eyes succumb to their allure
Pleasures anticipated within their call
Lovingly, I touch their jackets, their pages
Savoring each word, each delectable bite
With each chapter, my hunger rages
So expansive, my cerebral appetite
In them I lose myself, most concentrated
Devouring each one, feast by feast
Consuming their texts until sated
Myself becoming the books I eat
Right now, new, with their lovely spines
Once read, loved, these books become mine!
Copyright,2009,Georgette Jones

Recommended Art Book #1: Sonia Delauney, The Life of an Artist/ A Personal Biography Based on Unpublished Private Journals

Sonia Delauney was the wife of famous abstract artist, Robert Delauney. Born in Odessa in the Ukraine in 1885, she painted in a style called Orphic Cubism. Additionally, she designed costumes and dresses for commercial venues. Because she was one of the main supporters of her husband's career, she did not promote her own paintings until after his death. She finally gained recognition for her work in later years. She died in 1979 at the age of ninety-four, continuing to paint until that time.

This was one of the best biographies that I've ever read about a woman artist. I identified with Sonia because I started my own art career late - at age forty, and although I have sold hundreds of paintings, I have found the going steady, but slow. I enjoyed the book because it presented so many details about Sonia's life, and for the wonderful color plates of both her and Robert's work. There are also many black and white photos of the couple's everday life. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading famous artists' biographies.