The ups and downs of life in art
Here I go wearing my heart right out on my sleeve again. Perhaps an artist should try to be more professional and keep these things to himself, perhaps he should just stick to painting pictures. Let the canvas do the talking. My problem here, and it's just a small problem, is that I was born a human being, complete with emotions, feelings, impressions, all that nasty stuff.
Today I struggle with motivation. I am writing this post early in the day because I want to demonstrate how to fix such a problem.
As a great artist writer once said, "I've never known a depression that couldn't be beat by a session of good painting" (Kenneth Harris 1958).
So today I woke up with the usual black cloud in the sky, if you are an artist you know the one. What if I never sell another painting again? What if it's all over? What if I was just dreaming all this time and this is not real? What if I'm just a two bit no good low down snake in the grass good for nothing freeloading artist wannabe? What if what if what if?
Si I am going to take my stiff coffee out to my studio and there I am going to set out to paint a painting.
My next post will be the result of it and let's see where it all leads too.
It's a real honour to be an artist. much more a really big honour to be able to make an entire living from the proceeds of art. Not just any art, but my very own. Many artists have to resort to teaching, opening galleries with other artists, or taking on part time jobs to make ends meet. I get to paint for the love of painting and my time is divided only by my obligations as a father and husband, and that is just fine.
In the process of making a living, schmoozing, networking, marketing, etc, etc, it is very easy to get off the rails when it comes to the very reason I do what I do. I paint paintings, you see. That means I am presenting ideas on canvas. Say what? what does that mean? Why don't I just sit by nice littles brooks and paint cute little streams babbling over rocks like so many artists do? Why don't I do lots of simple sunsets and beachy paintings, like so many artists do? Why? Here is why:
Conviction, challenge and drama.
I cannot just bang off a boring sunset scene just to make a quick buck. Neither can I feel comfortable splashing off a silly beach scene to satisfy the publishers demands for commercial appeal. As well I cannot do Brown or Green or Red because someone said it would sell more.
I have a heart. I feel. I am moved. The things that move me are what I want to paint and I feel that by following that inner voice I am being utterly honest with those who follow my work. Because of that honesty it is highly unlikely that everyone will like everything I do. In fact, most will not like most of what I do.
But for certain someone will like one in particular. That one painting in particular will call out to them, speak to their soul and we, the viewer and the artist will in that moment be one soul. We will have touched hearts in a way no other experience can bring to pass.
I paint to reach my hearts desire, to transport myself in that moment to that place on my canvas. I paint to allow you to go there too.
The role of this artist is to offer you a porthole to my place of peace or drama or tranquility. In the case of my paintings about political issues, such as the massively shameful treatment of Aboriginal children in the Residential schools, I hope somehow to bring you to the place where I am with my head bowed down and heart broken for each of the little lives our Country has abused.
I just cannot be satisfied with mundane mediocre paintings.
Have to reach deeper.
Thats the role of an artist.
5"x7" oil on an old piece of masonite.
The Artists Journey
This is my blog page and it is where I get to be the opinionated man that I really am. The views are my own.
I invite your replies and comments, on my virtual welcome mat.
This sketch above became this finished painting below
The Pine Tree Painter.
How did I become known as the Pine Tree Painter? You could say I paint a lot of Pine Trees, that would be true. I paint a lot of other things too, but Pine Trees, Spruce Trees, Birch and others seem to be a continuous string in what i do. I just like the way they stand there like a custodian of the land. or a greeter to nature. So, I continue down the path with the Pine Tree Painter name on my head, It's ok.