Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Commit to your Art

The Cast 2
14 x 11

As a painting instructor, I find that, though all of my students come to me with the desire to be painters, and an interest in art, not all of them are ready to commit to art.  And if they don't commit, they don't improve; at least not as they'd like to improve: dramatically.

To commit, a painter has to leave the old priorities behind - a clean house, mowed lawn, interesting and innovative meals - and put all of that reclaimed energy into painting, looking at paintings, and reading about painting.  Above all, to be a painter takes time.  Like playing the piano, you can't get better if you don't practice every day. Talent in painting is just a well-trained eye and the patience to create endless amounts of paintings that you will eventually throw away.

And to be a good painter, a person has to need to be one.  Simply wanting to be one isn't enough; it has to be an ache, a yearning, a deep ambition.  Because learning to paint has such moments of deep frustration that you have to have a deep desire in order to carry on. 

The good news is that painting is highly addictive, so the students who begin out of interest, often become painters who decide to commit, and who discover a deep need within themselves that only art seems to fill.
Clean house be damned, we'll be happier and better people if we live our passions.

2 comments:

Caroline said...

I would say this is very true indeed, though cleaning can be a way to clear your mind of clutter before walking towards a clean white canvas to make your impression of the world.

Ingrid Christensen said...

Hi Caroline,
As I read your comment, I have a clear view of my weedy flower bed and overly-tall lawn. Past these is the studio where not a lot has been working this week.
Perhaps it's time to mow and hope that it does clear my mind!