As I work at my continuing/continual self-education in the art world, I read a lot of articles and blogs about art. They’re often quite helpful and informative, but I realized recently that few of the articles I read actually have to do with the work of art – technique, problem-solving, materials, tools, etc.
Rather, nearly all the articles from any art source these days are about marketing.
So much talk about price points and the relative salable merits of oil over acrylic over watercolor. Talk about which sizes sell best and advice on salability of paintings that are (a) larger or (b) smaller. Realistic paintings vs abstract. Competitions vs art fairs. The marketing discussions never seem to end.
Let me say that I know most of us want to sell our work . Let me say further that I am not a cock-eyed optimist who believes some major buyer will one day – sooner than later, I hope – see my paintings and the clouds will part, angels will sing, I’ll get a one-woman show in a well-known gallery, and I’ll sell every painting I’ve done.
(This scene is related to the one in which the plain young secretary takes off her glasses, unpins her hair and the young executive says – breathlessly, “Why, Miss Havisham, you’re beautiful!”)
Yeah, it happens in the movies, but hippos dance in tutus in movies, too.
In many arts – theatre, dance, and music for instance – it’s understood that you keep “taking class” as long as you keep working. You keep learning all the time – practicing, rehearsing, polishing, perfecting. Sure you audition and try to get paying work, but not without continuing to make your work better.
That’s where I am, this recently fledged artist who is no longer a beginner, working on the craft every day, rehearsing and practicing and then evaluating as best I can what I’ve done and what more I need to learn. Plenty.
As I do this, the through-line for me (to use a theatre term) is color. It’s the consistency I want and can depend on and which makes my heart sing. If your heart doesn’t sing, why are you doing what you do?
I can draw and I thought recently that I’d try something a little more realistic, but my mind, body, and art spirit just balked. So unless something changes, I’m in the colored world of abstract expressionism for the long haul. I don’t think I’ve found my voice yet in visual art, but I do know where to look for it. I’m guessing it will turn up somewhere among the azurite blue, cadmium red and Naples yellow.
The recent 8″ x 10″ pieces here are my latest step on the journey…