I really have no problem at all knowing what I DON'T want... It's harder for me to really put a finger on what I DO want. My "problem" would not seem like a problem to most people. In truth, I have no real needs. I am retired and can live well on my retirement income.
As part as my semi-annual reassessment of what the heck I'm doing and why, I've been mulling things over AT LOT. The bottom line is continual growth for me... I want to be a "really, really good" artist. I want to keep on working on my skills and practicing new ideas forever.
Now in theory, I could simply paint. Paint and paint and paint some more. And I definitely will do that. My mentor, David Gallup continually reminds us that we should paint for ourselves, not for others. He asks me why I spend any time at all on blogging or entering shows or marketing. I don't NEED to sell my work because income isn't a major issue. I don't NEED to show my work in shows and galleries because income isn't a major issue. I should paint... just paint.
And even though I am convinced that no one juror or art critic or even viewer can tell me that the work I do has reached that "really, really good" level, I still feel the need to sell and to have my work evaluated or "juried" by critics and artists I admire. I suppose I SHOULD be satisfied when I am happy with my work, but somehow I do feel the need for outside validation.
David has challenged all of the students in his Master Class with creating large paintings (even though they're too big for most shows I'd enter and large paintings are more difficult to sell). Most important, he has charged us with creating work which is AMBITIOUS. I think he uses this word just because it will mean different things for each of us and because it represents a challenge to each of us. But whenever he admires the work of other artists (past or present), it is because it stands out from the rest... Not just that it is technically proficient, but because it has a unique point of view or style.
I've been studying David's work and methods, I enjoy looking at other original work in shows and galleries. I go to demonstrations and try ideas I learn about. My largest painting to date is on the easel and seems to be going well. I've painted it from a study and am not referring to photos I took at the scene. I am trying to build up layers of paint and interesting texture, I'm working on using temperature, value and saturation to convey the mood and I've added an egret which wasn't in the original plein air piece but I thought it would enhance the painting. Best of all.. so far I really like it.
|Desert Blush 10x10 Oil/Linen|