Well, I talked about feeling like I was in a rut the last time. I decided I needed input. I have been painting for about 10 years and have not taken any classes since the very beginning and those were in watercolor.. Someone sent me a link to a class being offered by a local Artist. The style he worked in was abstract and although I have done several and have loved the form, I always felt less than confident about my abilities. I had gotten several DVD’s of Artists and watched other artists online create abstracts, but it never translated into going to the studio and creating something. So, throwing all caution to the winds, I signed up for all three days of the class.
By the end of the class, I was not sure WHAT I had learned except that it seemed to give me permission to play. That, apparently, was what was needed. I have been having fun exploring this new area. There is something totally different about being in a class environment with other Artists (even though that is very scary) than watching a DVD or a video. I was expecting nothing of substance to come from the class and in fact I came away with a painting that is now framed and on the wall.
And in the week that followed, I went to the studio and created a large canvas (larger that any I did in the class) which I am very pleased with. That is represented here. It is good to keep making art.
I recently got to see Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” in person. In the same room were several more paintings with the same idea, but different people that he had painted as “group vanity paintings”. You can see a small portion of one of the paintings here.
I had been thinking about how I was painting the same “things” over and over. Different animals, but in a similar fashion. I had been worried that I was in a rut. It is the age old question of whether you paint things that sell or you follow your interests.
Perhaps I was looking at the problem all wrong. Rembrandt certainly kept painting these paintings because he was making a living doing so. But, each painting is different and had different colors and different lighting. So, I guess that finding something that people like to see and buy makes it easy to stay in that area. I realized that I had not yet scratched the surface of all the ideas that I had in that area. I might paint several dogs and cats and even a horse or two. But at the same time, they do not have to be the same. You can play with the style and composition, the color and light, and find a way to keep making art.
Yes, the phone and the family are an interruption, but the rest of the world just won’t leave me alone. I know I should be doing all that promotion stuff, but I just want to sit in the studio and paint. Not worry about making a new business card, figuring out an e-mail marketing strategy, or my plan of attack for the coming year.
But, those are important too. So how to make everything fit! Sometimes it feels like I am juggling 4 plates in the air and have just been handed a 5th!
I thought I was doing really well, even ahead of the game. I had been painting and creating other stuff and had even gotten the label making for our Open Studios Tour in June done (over 700 labels) in March . How’s that for on the ball? But, then a show came to my attention and the deadline loomed. I decided that I HAD to have new pieces to enter, so guess what, there I was at the last minute sweating over creating something for the show. And then, of course, the entry process was less than user friendly.
I am sure I am not the only Artist who feels they spend more time on the business than on the Art. It can be really frustrating because, of course, the Art is the really fun stuff. But I have to remember that I get a lot more fun in this job than most others. When I was an Officer on the street, there were times when it was really fun. You know, driving fast, foot chases, confessions. But the other 80-90% of the time could be rather dull. So, I guess, overall, I will keep this job and put up with the interruptions, because they are part of what makes it work.
Just so I find time to Keep Making Art!