Sunday, September 24, 2017

Wisdom for us

Suddenly summer is over, the garden is heading toward completion and I can spend more time in the studio painting, blogging and teaching. 

Gouache on UArt 600, underpainting for a pastel commission.
I have been teaching private sessions in my studio. Each session is tailored specifically to the artist I am mentoring that day but for a couple weeks after we meet, I continue to think about them and to send them links and bits of information that I think they will benefit from.

A recent post by artist Nicholas Wilton caught my eye. It pertains to all of us. I am sharing it here.

"Sometimes being an artist can feel hard, while other times it can feel inspiring and joyful. In trying to keep things more the latter, I try to keep the following five points in mind. All of them are available at anytime and there is no cost involved. I believe they all contribute significantly to building buoyancy, productivity and joy in one’s art practice.
1 Show Yourself
Show yourself. Let people see what you have made. Show your enthusiasm generated by your art. In return you will receive additional energy and illuminating feedback that will help sustain your momentum from those around you.
2 Be Generous
Be useful and helpful to other artists. Do not be concerned with being secretive about your art. No one can make work like yours if you are being authentic.
3 Stay Connected
Your success, energetically, financially and even spiritually is directly connected to those that support and follow your artistic journey. Never lose connection with those that express interest and resonate with what you are doing. Cherish them.
4 Be Discerning
It takes a tremendous amount of life energy and optimism to sustain your creativity. Do not spill any of it on people or situations that you already know are not in alignment with your art or you. Conserve all your energy for situations and people who support what you are doing.
5 Remain Exceptional
Your artwork is a visual expression of your authenticity. To have the courage to listen and show what is within you to the outside world is rare and tremendously brave. Making your art makes you feel more alive but also has the same effect on others. This is why people will desire and, even sometimes, buy your Art. Your art, if it is authentic reminds them of their aliveness. Your art is your gift to the world and you are the only one who will ever be able to create it. It is simply an opportunity of a lifetime.

Keeping these 5 points in mind will help keep your art and you steadily on course. In the end it might not be about arriving at any particular place with your work but more importantly how it felt as you journeyed towards it."  - Nicholas Wilton

Now, just as I was typing this and getting ready to post it, I received more wisdom, this time from artist Marla Baggetta. I have included a few excerpts below. By the way, both of these artists give permission to share just as I encourage you to pass my blog post on.

"Working as an artist means all of the following and not in this order:

  • Knowing that I am amongst a very, very, very… small and fortunate few that have ever or will ever walk this earth that get to express their manifest existence in paint or in any other way for any length of time much less my whole life. 

  • That I have an obligation to those who came before me that were also thus fortunate and those ahead of me to do it well and not to waste it and to share, share, share.

  • Inspiration comes from the work. Inspiration does not come out of ones butt.

  • If I stay in the same place for a while that’s good. If I stay in the same place too long, I won’t be able to move. 

  • Painting to sell paintings is fine. Painting to move hearts is better. Sometimes that heart is my own.

  • Thinking about painting is overrated. One only has to look to art criticism to remember this. Painting is not overrated. Better to paint than to think about it. 

  • At the end of the day, the thing is to make better paintings. That means work and study and dedication. It doesn’t come any other way. 

  • Inspiration is not ours, it comes to us. We simply need to be ready for it. 

- Marla Baggetta

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