Well, I made it to the finish line, but now what? After I completed the painting for TAG Squared, I was feeling a little run down and a little burned out. One show after another, one custom art order after another, and it was all beginning to feel that I had lost the joy of creating art and wondering what it was all about for me…So, I’m asking myself, why do I create art? I’m hoping that asking this question will remind me of the reasons why I make art. I want to remember that feeling of losing all track of time, of life, just slowing down to a gentle crawl, of troubles and worries just melting away. In an effort to answer this question, I read an article by the artist, Lee Hammond, called, Why we Make Art. Here is the link for the article: http://www.artistsnetwork.com/articles/why-we-make-art-lee-hammond, in case you would like to read it for your own inspiration to get back in the studio and make art.
One of the main points Hammond makes in the article is that artists make art because they are passionate about it and love making things. But, she also points out that although art is a highly enjoyable activity, it also takes a lot of effort to get good at painting and drawing.
According to Hammond: “So why do we make art? Why is art so important to us? It’s simple. Because we enjoy it. In fact, we live for it. Few in life have this type of passion for a certain thing, particularly something that’s so enjoyable. It was given to us at birth, and it drives us forward. It’s reasonable to see how frustrating it may be for someone with a lackluster life, to see us having so much fun, and being so fulfilled.
But it is art-WORK. Few understand how very hard it is to develop these skills, and to try to take it to a profession level. Even the artist who does it as a hobby and pure joy of doing it, has moments of pure frustration when it doesn’t work out.” Hammond, 2016.
And as for things not working out, that was what was happening today in the studio. I had been looking forward to working on art all weekend after several days of working at my day job. The day has arrived but the work left something to be desired. All my best-laid plans about putting together a color scheme for the portrait I am working on went awry. Nothing seemed to work, even when I used tried and true color schemes, like the primary colors of red, blue, and yellow. After several attempts, I finally got something that worked. But it was not fun. So back to my original question of what’s next? For me, I am going to try and re-discover the joy of making art, whatever the outcome may be. Just to enjoy making marks with my pencil, mixing up colors, and appreciating the artwork of artists I admire, like Andrew Wyeth, Mary Cassat, and Robert Liberace, etc. I want to remember what it was to make art like a child would, without that critical adult voice who so often criticizes a work before it is time. Well, it’s 4:00 and my timer just went off, so I think I will get back in the studio and try to just enjoy working on a painting, whatever the outcome may be. On another note, I am attaching some photos of my latest show, TAG Squared at Frederick, MD. These photos include the works of several other local artists who are featured in the show. If you want more details about the show, such as gallery hours, here is the website: http://www.theartistsgalleryfrederick.com/.