An Everyday Artist

I’ve been drawing since grade school, and painting since highschool. I always knew I could not be a professional artist, because I could not paint and draw everyday, all the time. I knew I lacked the essential inspiration to produce art on demand.

I produce an average of 3-4 paintings a week now, but they are simple, and quick to do. I have learned to be a full time artist, even though I do not paint full time right now. I know I COULD, if the financial motive was there, and I know I could produce between 4 and 20 paintings a day, depending on what media, method, and batch production method I was working.

There are major things that have changed since highschool.

First, I know how to work. I know how to do a JOB day after day, and when it comes down to it, painting is just another job.

Second, I know how to do CREATIVE work every day, all day. I learned that as a web designer, doing computer graphics and website design, and doing web development to create individual solutions for each website.

Third, I know how to use TECHNIQUE, and how to develop METHODS and SYSTEMS to produce work more quickly, and more efficiently.

Fourth, I know how to RESEARCH and STUDY the works of other artists for inspiration and to learn new styles, methods, and techniques. That began with Bob Ross in about 1992.

Fifth, I know how to get up in the morning and just do the work. Just do the work that is here to do today.

The biggest thing that makes it so I can WORK as an artist is that I know how to get up and do the work, and that I now consider art to BE work, not just something I do for my soul. It IS still that, but I can do THAT as work!

Long ago, art was not BUSINESS for me. Now it is. But it produces a PRODUCT, and that makes it business.

I am an artist every day. I am a writer every day also – I made THAT transition long ago. I don’t LOSE something by being an artist every day. I gain something.

When I am not working on a painting, I am often studying a work that I plan to use as my reference work to paint from. I am sometimes researching categories of painting material to learn styles, compositions, color usage, and other elements that allow me to be READY to paint when I pick up the canvas and brush.

I study the techniques of other artists, but I also practice to REFINE my own use of technique to create various stylistic elements. I also work to refine METHODS, both those that I learn from other artists, and those I create on my own.

All that time, between youth, and middle age, I was learning. The things that come to make me ABLE where I was not then, are not merely artistic, but mechanical, intellectual, displinarial, and analytical. I am more of a person now, and that makes me more capable.

The art has a long way to go to improve as I want it to. But the rest of me does also. I’m not ready today to paint a highly detailed large work. But maybe I will be in a month or year or two. Because I’ll be even MORE of a person then than I am now.

But now, for the first time in my life, I am an artist every day… An everyday Artist.

View my scratchings and smearings at Firelight Heritage Farm Library and Gallery.

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