For years I looked at the lives of successful artists who were not just proverbially but actually tortured. You know the ones; Van Gogh, Rothko and many others. Musicians as well. Names like Cobain, Winehouse, etc, etc. I looked at them with a question; how can someone so successful be so miserable? Imagine, you work your whole life at mastering your craft, you endure your share of opposition and you come out on top. As well, your work continues to improve and people keep buying it. Even more, you are making a good living from your work, so what's the problem? You're living the dream, right?
I'm turning 50 this year. Artistically I have spent the first 4+ years of my creative life trying to be all of those things. Successful, earn a living from my craft, etc, etc. Only now as my life passes the great 50 year mile stone I am only now beginning to realize what a truly wonderful gift I have been given. Not taken lightly by any means whatsoever and not unappreciated. I will never forget my years as a low paid over stressed under appreciated employee. The freedom I have now is pretty remarkable and I am humbled daily by the mere thought of it.
So what's my problem?
What tortures this artist is fear. Fear that I may never sell another painting ever again. No kidding. No joke intended.
There is not a day I don't think about it. Oh sure, I know what you're thinking; "Robert, you know that's not going to happen!" I wish I were so confident. I do get a bit confident after a few have gone out the door but there is always that monster around the corner waiting to taunt me again, those words that keep ringing in my heart...You'll probably never sell another painting again and you'll have to go punch a clock again for next to no pay. You won't be able to paint as much because you won't have the time. Maybe it's all over.
Yes, that's my torture. Every day. Mostly in the morning.
In an ironic sort of way it is also what drives me to my canvases, makes me keep working, makes me strive to be better, to improve, to reach the next goal, to achieve better than before. It's a blessing in disguise. This curse, This torture. when combined with a sheer love for paint and colour and movement of nature it provides the engine I need to keep on keeping on.
This is my heart on my sleeve, my friends. This is my very soul out there for all to see.
And there you go.
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.