Saturday, 4 March 2017

Open letter to Martha

For those of you who don’t know what this is about: never mind. You don’t want to know. Just go to my “real” PPF-post here. For those of you who do know what I’m talking about: this is an answer to Martha’s blogpost on Ayala Art, concerning my blogpost from last week. Since she won't let me comment on her blog, I figured I'd just put it on my own blog.

Hi Martha

I’m very sorry you feel this way.

At first I was hesitant about saying anything about this on my blog, because I didn't want to stir up negative feelings between people. But I've been participating in this challenge for so long, and I felt I needed to explain why I stopped participating.  I just couldn’t stop  in the middle of the challenge and say nothing about it. I hate being secretive. That’s not who I am.

It was never my intention to attack you, and rereading my post I can’t find I did. I never even mentioned your name. I just said I was asked to refrain from posting and that that scared me and made me sad. I was a bit pissed off that you deleted my faces and that’s what really made me decide that this was the last time for me to participate. I was careful not to mention anything in the FB-group, I just let them know I wouldn’t post anymore because some were uncomfortable with it. No one (as far as I know, before you deleted it) commented in a nasty negative way. The only nasty comment came from ***, when I posted a face with a quote from Elie Wiesel. She posted a rather hateful comment about it, and people reacted to that, but in a very reasonable non-attacking way. Someone asked you whether it was all right for *** to post nasty comments like that, but you never even answered. I wish we could've had an open and honest discussion about this in the group. It could have cleared the air. We are all grown-up, and despite what you seem to think, we are not trolls who just start to rant when something isn’t to our liking.

Of course you have every right to run your group the way you want, to set your rules the way you want, to delete the faces that you don’t want. I happen to disagree with it and that’s why I left. But I also have the right to explain why I left. I didn’t do it in a hurtful, nasty way, as you are suggesting. I didn't attack you as a person.

After that I went on to talk about politics. It was a general rant about things I have noticed on social media, the way some people who speak out are silenced, and the fact that I won't let anyone silence me. It didn’t have anything to do with 29 faces, or you, and if you could’ve read it without that haze of hurt and anger in front of your eyes, you would have been able to see it.

I don’t moderate the comments on my blog. Everyone is free to comment how they want. I'm not responsible for people reacting so strongly to what I wrote. In fact I was surprised that they reacted like that, as it wasn’t my intention to make people “choose” between you and me. I contacted some of the people that reacted so strongly privately to explain what had happened, and contrary to what you might think I didn’t speak bad about you. Saying that I'm being hurtful, hateful and insulting is not right. You are doing exactly what you are accusing me of doing: inciting online hate against my person by attacking me personally and mentioning my name several times. What you did on your blog is ten times worse than what I did on mine. And the worst thing is you are moderating all comments and only approving the comments that go with what you are saying (people contacted me so I know). I have no way to defend myself, you are not letting people discuss this in the open, just like in the Facebook-group.

It is your right to do it like this of course. But in your own words: this is not the grownup way to handle things.

I am sorry it has come to this.

Enjoy your weekend.

I’m sorry to all who have been caught in the middle of this. I’m not out to cause a rift in this wonderful group of artists. I hope we can just move on and leave this behind. There is enough nastiness in the world without us adding to it.

Love and best wishes ♥♥♥


  1. A civil, respectful, well written explanation as to why you feel the way you do and why you left the group. Well done!

  2. Hi Denise, what a great response to the situation. Even though I dont post my art anymore I regularly lurk! I felt I had to comment, for when I saw that face on the refugees it teared me up, its a social comment not political! I know how you feel about leaving 29 faces, it was where I first started to blog and it had a special place in my heart. I just love your funnies too. You made me realise we have to stand up before the bullies, I stopped blogging because I had a troll making my life a misery. When you think about it trolls are bullies too. I do have a WordPress blog that I only posted on a couple of times, maybe I can start sharing my art again?
    You go girl!

  3. Denise, your letter/response on your blog was open and honest. It was the only way you were able to connect with someone who otherwise moderates your comments.
    What Sharon said above is so correct about the refugee painting being a social comment, not political. And anyone who knows you or has followed you forever, knows, this is who you are. Your art is you ,you express through your art and that is why we love you and your art!
    I am happy and proud that you have stood up so graciously(in my opinion) to a cyber bully.
    Yes, let's get on with making our art and sharing it (that means you too Sharon,start posting again!) And when something moves us so much that it shows in what we create- good for us- this is passion about life and art at it's best!
    Love you and your art!
    your friend,Jackie

  4. It's about projection in psychology terms--people who project their own thoughts and ideas onto someone else and say that is what that person is thinking or feeling when it is really them. a great example of course is 45--he projects all the time.

  5. I'm new here and I don't know all the details but I'm impressed with your open letter. And your art. Wow, some real neat things here.

  6. I'm sorry this happened and I think your open letter is very respectful and thoughtful. Your art is beautiful and your pretty quote wouldn't have been considered political before this election. It certainly wasn't offensive, nor was your blog post explaining why you left the group. I tried to communicate with Ayala on her blog but my comments weren't posted. I do wish you well, and Ayala too. I hope this unfortunate situation passes quickly for everyone.

  7. Well said Denise! In a world that has gone crazy it is necessary to stick to our beliefs and share them in the way that is constructive . You have done that. All of the "HATE BASHING" that is happening these days will not achieve a positive outcome it will only produce more hate and confusion. One of my all time inspirations is the life and words of Martin Luther King Jr. " Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." I strive to live in the light and that is the feeling I get when I see your works. A person who recognizes the dark and tries to shed the light on it. Keep up the good work!!! Love & Peace♥

  8. Denise, I was mystified when I read Martha's rant in 29 Faces and was hoping it had nothing to do with your wonderful art but somehow knew that it must have been what got her riled. Many of us came to your defense in that first work of yours that was hardly political and was more of a universal plea that went unrecognized by someone with a political agenda. The one who complained was downright nasty and her comment, as you stated, was far more offensive than your beautiful work of art!! I am so glad to see you standing up for what you and I and many others believe in and what better place than through your art! I believe the admin portrayed herself as the victim in this situation, which is far from the case. Hopefully one day she will be able to see the error in her thinking. I'm behind you 100% It takes guts to stand up against pure ignorance. As a result of this fiasco, I will no longer participate in 29 Faces! I, too, was there from the beginning. I finished it out this time but it had been ruined by this rigid and insensitive handling of the situation. I am particularly peeved by the yanking of your wonderful art which spoke to most of us in the highest possible ways. Viva your art, maybe not there, but everywhere else!!


Thanks for taking the time to comment! I love hearing your thoughts about my work. Because I'm getting too many spammer comments nowadays, l have banned anonymous users from commenting. Hope this isn't a problem for you !