Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Forging ahead

My schedule's been crazy lately and I haven't had a lot of painting time, so I steal time from either end of the day to work on pieces.  Its just how life is when you want to produce, but feel time chasing you.  There's not a huge amount of progress here, but I'm refining the fish and starting to block in the paper bag.  Its starting to come together now.  There is that turning point in a painting when you just 'know' whether its going to forge ahead or be wiped.  Its undefinable, that moment of knowledge, its when the painting talks to you.

I always make time for art in some form, no matter what else is happening.  Sketching in airports and on planes, photographing ideas for new pieces, working out ideas in a small sketchbook I keep next to the bed, drawing at lunchtime etc.  For me, its how I need to work to ensure that I can produce new pieces as well as work a full time day job.  Somehow it all fits in.  But isn't that the way if you really want to do something?  Anything can be done if you want to do it badly enough.  We can all throw up excuses about why we can't do something, but can we put the same effort ensuring we make enough time for creating art instead?  

There has to be selfishness in it, as well as the craving to succeed.  One won't happen without the other.  There has to be the discipline not to be swayed by less important things - television, surfing online, etc.  There has to be a well of inspiration that you can draw from, fueled by experiences, surroundings, art and people. 

There has to be support for your art - and not from family - unless they're paying for you to be the artist you want to be by providing living expenses that let you stay at home and create.  Support to create art is different from support for your art.  Family is not objective, has little understanding of technique, subject matter, art markets, collectors and the business of art.  Surround yourself with your peers, with other like minded artists and galleries who support and understand what you are trying to achieve and who can help you reach your goal. 

And it all takes time.  It takes a huge amount of effort and there are giant stumbling blocks that are thrown in your way constantly.  It takes money to buy quality supplies, to frame paintings, to market your work.  Sometimes it feels like a revolving door.  Money comes in from a sale and there's someone with their hand out waiting to take it to frame the next piece or buy the next set of business cards.

So why do it?  Because its amazing and only when you've struggled with blood, sweat and tears through  learning technique, practicing the requisite 10,000 hours plus, and learning from each and every piece you create, will you realize how amazing it can be. How much are you willing to sacrifice to get there?  Everything or nothing?  That is what separates those who make it and those who sit on the sidelines thinking up reasons why they can't do it.


Rose Welty said...

What I needed to hear Jeanette, thanks. Craving, discipline, inspiration, selfishness and support...you've hit the nail on the head.

Jeanette said...

Sometimes I need to reinforce it to myself Rose. Especially after conversations with people who think art is an easy road.