"So why are you painting a woman in a bottle?"
It's a learning painting. I want to see if I can handle all those layers of transparency and quirky reflections.
"But she has a set of phantom arms and legs, what about that?"
Yes, pretty cool. A Vitruvian woman in a bottle.
"I'm looking for Meaning: Don't paintings symbolize things?"
You mean, what does it mean, really mean? I had an idea, but it really wasn't very deep.
"But what are you saying with that?"
It's not feminist nor anti, it's just an exercise.
"But aren't you, as an artist, exposing reality and interpreting, presenting emotions and feelings, seeing the soul?"
I'm not on a soapbox-- I'm testing my skill-- I paint and don't think about it too much. After all, 'Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar' or is it 'just a smoke'?
"I don't like your message."*
OK, I'll paint you in a bottle...
As a shrunken head.
On the other hand, I once painted an agricultural scene based on a photo from the 1930s that I thought carried a social message. Most people wanted to know what kind of tractor it was.