The Artists life
Advise to the young budding artist.
So peaceful the artist looks, over there on that river bank painting such a beautiful scene.
Have you ever heard the term "tip of the iceberg"? That's how I see that scene of the artist painting. I suppose that's how I appear to most who see me painting or just see my art. For the most part as it appears the artist life is and can be very deeply rewarding, I for one can say it has surpassed my wildest expectations and any dream I ever had about life in art. But there is that part of the iceberg that lies beneath the surface of the water that not many see, or understand.
I think of a Doctor I know, a neurosurgeon who has become very successful. How celebrated his life is and with all the trappings of it. But he is quick to remind me of the years of education and practice, where next to no income was the norm. The build up of the practice and the bills that had to be paid all along the way.
An artists life, while largely non academic is very much comparable to the neurosurgeon. Those early years of slogging through the mud.
The "mud" I refer to is not always ugly, just time consuming and seemingly endlessly fruitless. I have paid many a dues enduring art shows where nothing seemed to transpire. Passed out many many cards that seemingly fell by the wayside.
And then there are the piles of paintings. I believe for every one I have sold (over 500 over ten years) I have at least 3 that have never sold and my vault is full to the brim! Lol.
Lest I forget, there is the collateral damage along the way. An artists life can often and is often a solitary life. How else can one devote the focus required to fine tune his/her craft but to be alone with nature and the brush. I have been fortunate to have had the most understanding family around me most of the time but there are those both close and far who always wonder "that's a great hobby Rob, so how's the job search going". Lol, I laugh to myself every time I hear any version of that line.
I knew an elderly man who loved the woods so passionately that he went out weekly for hikes and to take photos. One day he went out and never came back. When they found him he had was sitting up against a tree, lifeless. His family knew that he had gone in the best way he could ever have.
The life of an artist is very challenging, one of the greatest challenges is getting people to understand that it is a privileged life, and a life of a calling. That call for some comes early and for some late, but once called it is inescapable. Undeniable. Usually only the artist can truly understand it. Leaving all others to wonder how it must feel to be an artist.
I love what I do, I wouldn't have it any other way. I hope this blog benefits someone out there who needed to read it. Pass this on if you know someone who has ventured out on the road of the artists life.
Blessings to you,
Special Thanks to Elizabeth McGlaughlin for the use of this photo.
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.