I'm also somewhat bothered by my own ideas of what it means to be an artist. I wonder am I really an artist first and foremost if I don't do it full time? Is my personality one that really can enjoy being at home all day everyday working on my art and creating good work? If I'm honest with myself - NO. I need to have human interraction and I need to get out of my head and my ego. I've had many opportunities to work full time as an artist. I was lucky enough to have scraped by, but I did not enjoy it nearly as much as I do when I don't have to rely on my art to feed me and my mean cat. I think that just maybe the hardest and biggest pill for me to swallow this morning (after my humongous vitamins) - is that I'm not of the disposition to just live, breath and work for my art. I soooo look forward to painting and working on my books, but I also look forward to going to work and leaving my art behind for the day. I create better and I'm happier. (and I think I might actually get more finished)This painting represents a plan I had once. One I actually thought was in stone. This was the church I got married in. An old church in Haymarket, Virginia where during the Civil War it was used as a hospital. I did not stay married, as was my plan. But really good things can happen to you regardless of your best made plans. This church has a beautiful variety of grave stones all around it as well - mostly local families and soldiers. It took me a long time to finish this painting and I did this spring. I guess in some ways it's a picture of the "death of plans" and not just a pretty old church. But there is still beauty to it. And I've come far enough away from it, that I CAN see the beauty.
June 6, 2007
Planning - life and art
I left the house yesterday morning for work thinking I'm headed in a certain direction with my plans and goals typed out neatly and tucked under my arm. But then I get a phone call - a good one. And at the end of it I'm looking at my plans and realizing this opportunity with my day job really is just that - a great opportunity and challenge. I'm excited, but what about me "wish" list of being a full time illustrator and artist, owning a farm NOT in California, having my own washer and dryer... and the list goes on. Does that mean that the things I hope and want won't come about? Absolutely not. It just means that they won't come about in the way I think they ought to. I guess plans are like a watercolor painting (see - you know I would bring art into it at one point.) I have great plans and intentions and even know the subject matter and color, but when wet brush hits the cold press paper- anything can happen - no matter how much control you think you have, and you can have a great deal, there are still surprises - some good and some bad. I can't tell you how many times I've put away a painting I had been working on thinking it was pure junk because it didn't turn out the way I had planned. Then, months later I pull it out and see that the unplanned accident really made the painting interesting, if not better.