Sunday, May 25, 2014

Switching Hats

            Another day in the life of a teacher by day/artist by night, well it's actually teacher by Sept-May and artist by June-August. We are approaching the last week of school when I shed my teacher hat for the artist hat.  I do love this time of the year.  Lots of blank canvases are ready and waiting. Stocked up on paint. Bought  a couple of new brushes to go with the 50 or so I already have. Really, can you ever have enough! Nope.

            Through the years I've had conversations with other artists about the choices we make to jump full time into our art or to balance our passion with a career with more stability. Art careers, particularly independent artists are at the mercy of art dealers, luck, public whimsy, luck, ....well you get the idea. There are so many talented artists that never get "discovered". I have been fortunate in that I have found the balance to enjoy stability as well as pursue my art as I please.  When I was a young girl, I was taught to "do what I love, and the money will follow". Sadly that is not always the truth. Better advice might be to "do what you love, educate yourself on doing what you love better than anyone else, and have a meaningful career so that you can still pursue your passion without the anxiety of poverty". So my tidbit of wisdom is a little longer but truthfully, the arts are sometimes cruel lovers. The neighborhood Starbucks has a kid that sits in front now and then and plays his guitar for tips. That kid is good but where will he go from there?  That luck thing may pass him by. Or he may be the "one".

            Thank you to Mark and Judy from the beautiful state of New Hampshire. They bought these two paintings from my Etsy shop today.  
Rufus Porter Style Folk Art Painting        American Folk Art Original Painting

Quote of the Day:  "Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none."  ~ William Shakespeare

Song of the Day:  "Remember When" ~ Alan Jackson

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Life and Art

                I'm working on a painting for a wonderful couple in the San Fran area. They own two other paintings of mine and this will be a beautiful addition.  In the quiet of my thoughts, with every brush stroke, I am reflecting on our love of art, our need for art  and how it is so analogous to life:

                1- A great painting is always wonderful no matter how many years go by. The beauty of every brush stroke shines through regardless of age.  I think that is true of people also, it doesn't matter the age, that true beauty is everlasting, the good, the pure, it stays in those eyes. Maybe with that thought, the reverse is also true, but that is a debate for another day.

                2- When you truly fall in love with a painting, like a first great love, that love affair never ends. I still remember the day I first stood a foot away from Van Gogh's Irises at the Getty Museum. It touched my heart in a way I can never explain. No matter how many years go by, I still feel a tender love for that piece. Van Gogh painted it soon after he entered the asylum at Saint Paul-de-Mausole in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France. He felt that if he kept painting, he could hang onto his sanity...which leads me to my 3rd thought.

                3- For most of us, life is a plethora of ups and downs. If you have the wisdom of age, you can be sure that no matter where you are in life, the tide will eventually turn and you will find
yourself reveling in the joy....or....praying that you can hang on for another day.   To create, no matter what your medium, is to be connected to the world around you. I read a quote that said, "to cry is a sign that you are still alive",  but I say that "to create art is a sign that you are still alive and you are still strong".

Quote of the Day: "And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world about you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it"  ~  Roald Dahl

Song of the Day: "Iris" ~ Goo Goo Dolls

Monday, May 12, 2014

Redemption and Karma

I sat down to paint today. For the first time in so very many years I simply could not find my inspiration. How is it possible to misplace something like that? Yes, it's a little tongue in cheek but it is bothering me. This year has brought a fair share of challenges, some karma to be dealt with, and even some redemption.  I can't speak for every artist but for me painting is an extension of me, it is my every mood, my unspoken psyche. I think a lot of artists are that way. A friend of mine does some absolutely magnificent paintings, they are large canvas, powerful, a little dark, and intriguing.  Knowing him allows me to know that he has a very turbulent presence and these painting allow him to let it go.  No particular end to this thought today, just more questions.  

Quote of the Day: "Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don't." - Steve Maraboli