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AliciaS
08-26-2008, 05:26 PM
I recently received a gift from a student of a book on inspirational thoughts of an artist. (thank you so much)
It got me thinking.
I lead a very reclusive life. I spend probably 90% of time alone in the studio or at home. I have chosen this life and I love it.
This life of an artist has led me to feel that I am the only one who thinks or feels all these things that make up "me'" as an artist.
Until I read this book. I found my own words that I have thought many times in each paragraph that I read.
I would like this thread to include other artists thoughts of everyday life as an artist.
Little gems that we can all read over and over again and let sink in and feel not so alone.


My first thought is of what I read of Georgia O'keefe once..a long time ago so I am really paraphrasing.
She said she lets compliments and criticisms come in the same way and leave the same way....not to hold on to either....very profound I thought.

I thought this thread would enlighten us all and show us we are not alone in our 'little artist world"
I hope people post some thoughts ...either their own or someone elses.

Thanks:heart: :heart:

AliciaS
08-26-2008, 05:29 PM
so on the note of compliments....and criticism.....I try to take both with a grain of salt...consider a criticism for a moment ...consider a compliment for a moment....and I know the truth is somewhere in between.....

Paula Ford
08-26-2008, 05:49 PM
Great thread Alicia.

I have always been a loner all of my life, very happy and content with my own presence (and of course with my kitties) and very easily entertained. People have many times said to me, "you need to be around people more," which at times has made me wonder if there was something wrong with me until I discovered I was an artist....... Will write more later...gotta go

Paula

AliciaS
08-26-2008, 05:55 PM
Thanks for posting Paula...its always good to hear someone else enjoys the secluded life...maybe that is a strong characteristics of most artists...
thinkers
comtemplators
imaginators
all these different atributes thrive, I believe, when you are alone.
I am sure we have all heard and tend to believe in " crazy artists "
thats what makes us artists...


art is therapy.

HarvestMoon
08-26-2008, 05:58 PM
I think a lot of times it would be much easier to work alone. Especially when I am using the kitchen table (our only eating table) and hubby gets annoyed that it is covered in art stuff....so just when I am into something I have to clear it all off...in the middle of the night I hate to get up and work on something because I don't want to wake the family (and that includes the dogs and cats too LOL)....

I wouldn't trade my family for anything in the world mind you- not artistic success or anything, but I really am more productive when they are not around- eg. yesterday I painted a donkey in gouache...and I was trying to get it to look like inlaid SW jewelry- so my husband says- wow- that looks just like one of the 'how to cut up a cow' diagrams in a cookbook....ok, so it did, but not exactly what I wanted to hear LOL

AliciaS
08-26-2008, 06:13 PM
thanks for posting linda!
I understand....my dog (may he rest in peace) use to come up and want to lick my face every 15 minutes or so when I was painting...it really was annoying...but I do miss it sometimes..

Some days I get really bad and don't want to do anything but be by myself and paint...forever.......
and then I blow up.....can't do it anymore...and need a break and some people....i don't want to be so selfish...My husband is so supportive.
and i agree with you. I would never trade him for success either.....

christinemlr
08-26-2008, 06:18 PM
Hi Alicia :wave:
I came across your thread pretty much by accident, just trying out the tools whilst editing my profile I hit the 'new posts' button and your title caught my eye. I like to be alone most of the time too, but friends just don't seem to understand this, and I end up feeling selfish and guilty.

I like the idea of this thread, (it might be worth putting in a more general forum) I haven't yet got any inspirational ideas to share, but I have decided right now not to feel guilty anymore. I shall follow my hearts desire - through painting.

I'm going to look at 'soft pastels' (now that you have 'introduced' me to i)t. :)

Xina

AliciaS
08-26-2008, 06:22 PM
Hi Xina- welcome to the WC!
no need for earth shaking revelations...just thoughts are good too!!
Follow your heart.
It tells you everything....what to paint even!
If you paint and live from the heart you can't go wrong!!

IdahoHat
08-26-2008, 06:32 PM
jThis is very interesting. Looking forward to others' thoughts. Although I am a very social person, I go bananas if I don't get my "alone time" whether it's painting, reading, meditating, etc. If I were to put a measure to it, it would probably balance out to 25% social and 75% alone. However, I have to qualify that by the fact of my husband being retired and "around." We have a small, downsized home, but a lot of the time he's doing his thing and I'm doing mine. My little studio is a breakfast room that is both open to the kitchen and to the living room, where he is usually, if he's not in the office, which is in the back of the house.

I think it's a needful thing to have that "alone" time.

The only time I paint with others is on Thursdays.

AliciaS
08-26-2008, 06:39 PM
Hi Harriett-
painting with others can be good. I will be doing it on wednesday nights in a life class.
I have a couple thoughts on painting with people.
I never get in my artists zone...it doesn't compare to painting alone..
when I paint alone..I could not tell you how far from the earth I am.
I am in my painting somewhere I am not able to describe...and the
time...there seems no real time....its like your stoped in time...and
before you know 5 hours have gone by....
I'm rambling another reclusive thought......thats why I made this thread.....

M Douglas
08-26-2008, 06:44 PM
I find as I get older I seem to be more selfish with my time, it could be that I just don't have the energy that I used to and with whatever spare time I have I want to do the things that I'm passionate about which is pretty much art related, whether painting, photography for painting related projects, or reading about or looking at art. I'm a very solitary person and quite content to be alone, i'm seldom bored and if I am its because i'm to lazy or i'm in a painting slump and just can't seem to get motivated. Because I work full time I do get a certain amount of interaction with other people but if I ever win the lottery I would quit work in a minute and just travel and paint.

Melodie

M Douglas
08-26-2008, 06:48 PM
Alicia I agree with you about not getting into the zone when painting with other people, I used to paint with a group but found I was constantly making mistakes and messing up with my colors, that eventually I gave up on the painting and just went to be social.

Melodie

AliciaS
08-26-2008, 06:49 PM
Hi Melodie...
sometimes its viewed as being selfish...maybe it is just taking care of yourself.
I know I don't want to wake up one day when I am old and realize I have lived my life for everyone else..
I think as long as you aren't hurting anyone...you are just being true to yourself......
working in a job in the WORLD does bring that human element.....
traveling and painting would do that too!! Sounds Great!

AliciaS
08-26-2008, 06:52 PM
Alicia I agree with you about not getting into the zone when painting with other people, I used to paint with a group but found I was constantly making mistakes and messing up with my colors, that eventually I gave up on the painting and just went to be social.

Melodie




Ya, I think I am just going to be the one who brings the beer on Wednesday night!:thumbsup:

DAK723
08-26-2008, 07:01 PM
Hi Alicia,

I'm glad you started this thread for no other reason than I feel I know you now (at least a little) as a person, and not just as an artist who posts paintings.

It is already somewhat apparent from this thread that many artists are "loners" or folks who have trouble fitting in with the crowd. Is that because we are artists or do we become artists because we are "outsiders"? I think it is the former. At least speaking for myself, it seems as if artists do look at life with a unique perspective. Trying to find truth and beauty, and often being overwhelmed in our desire to share that truth and beauty with others. All while living in a world where power, manipulation, hatred, prejudice and many other negative aspects seem to be far more important to far too many people.

Well, that was pretty deep. There is a danger when asking artists for their deepest thoughts!

Don

AliciaS
08-26-2008, 07:13 PM
Hi Alicia,

I'm glad you started this thread for no other reason than I feel I know you now (at least a little) as a person, and not just as an artist who posts paintings.

It is already somewhat apparent from this thread that many artists are "loners" or folks who have trouble fitting in with the crowd. Is that because we are artists or do we become artists because we are "outsiders"? I think it is the former. At least speaking for myself, it seems as if artists do look at life with a unique perspective. Trying to find truth and beauty, and often being overwhelmed in our desire to share that truth and beauty with others. All while living in a world where power, manipulation, hatred, prejudice and many other negative aspects seem to be far more important to far too many people.

Well, that was pretty deep. There is a danger when asking artists for their deepest thoughts!

Don

Ya you go boy!! thats how I feel...where are the hippie artists?
am I the only one left?
Your unique perspective is what is going to save this world...
I believe we have a responsibility as artists to say something..
If its just beauty...thats great..
If its a political statement...great
Or a sad portrayal of something or someone...thats what we do...say things with our medium....
Your deep thoughts are great to hear Don!!
Once again...it is great to hear other artists thoughts of inspiration!!

Paula Ford
08-26-2008, 07:55 PM
Well, I was going to say more, but all of you have said it way better than me. Again, great thread Alicia.

The internet & WC are great, aren't they? We can have close ties with all the other artists here, turn on our computers when we want to and not when we don't. Yet we can be alone in our own art world and just as happy as little clams. It's the perfect life for me.

Just wanted to mention, I too have a full-time job, but when 5:00 comes around, my heart, body, and soul can't wait to get back home into my studio where my mind can wander and my hands can try to create the beautiful places in my thoughts.

DAK723
08-26-2008, 10:59 PM
... when 5:00 comes around, my heart, body, and soul can't wait to get back home into my studio where my mind can wander and my hands can try to create the beautiful places in my thoughts.
And we are so glad that you do create those beautiful places!

One thing that I have noticed as I read and critique the posts and artwork of others is how concerned folks are with following the "rules" of composition, or worrying about whether a certain color is correct or not. It is my feeling (and believe me, it took many years to come to this conclusion) that the major question about a piece of artwork is - does it communicate what I want? Does it capture and convey the idea, or feeling, or atmosphere that I want it to convey? The "tools" of composition are what we use (or choose not to use) to best help us succeed in that attempt at communication. They are the means to an end, not the end itself. I believe, Paula, that in one of your threads you mentioned that you want your paintings to take the viewer to a beautiful and peaceful place. You succeed wonderfully!

Don

DAK723
08-26-2008, 11:06 PM
Your unique perspective is what is going to save this world...

Yes, I'd like to save the world, but, so far, after 51 years, I'm not doing a very good job!:)

But seriously... I think creative folks are usually idealists. But it does get harder to stay idealistic as you get older, don't you think?

Don

Gail V
08-27-2008, 12:12 AM
Hi Alicia - great thread going here! I too love when I am "in the zone" and realize half the day is gone and have "journeyed" far into my drawing or painting. :-) Only an artist can understand what that even means. I definitely know when I am NOT in the zone and I get so frustrated that I know I had better stop for the day.......I too choose to spend time alone and get in the creative zone. I have stopped trying to make others happy by doing things that they think I should be doing...I guess I feel I have one chance to get it done and hope I will do just that.

Do you ever feel like you are the only one who is in awe every time the light hits just right? It doesn't matter what I am doing or where I am, I want to scream out "do you see how beautiful that is where the light is hitting?" Does anybody else "see" like this 24 hours a day? :-)

nana b
08-27-2008, 12:20 AM
I too, am pretty much a loner..of course I live with a husband that is just as passionate with his woodworking (he would never use the word "passionate"):cool: as I am in my art so we fit well together and I love being around him even after 35 yrs. We're both retired but love just being at home with our separate arts. You almost have to force me out of the house because I'm fully submerged into art and the learning there of. This is what makes me happy and content. I am sometimes moody but that's part of it, isn't it?
I find that I don't make good art in classes or around other people but I accept that and try to take home what I learned in the privacy of my own studio.

I too see a painting everywhere I go..or more..the light hitting just the way that's begging for me to snap a picture of it or mentally making a note of the exact place so I can run home and get my camera. Not being able to stop and get that "must have" snapshot of a special place because there is cars in front and in back of you on they're way to somewhere important and probably saying "what is that stupid broad doing up in front of us...hey lady get out of the way"...and then circling the block 7 or 8 times till you are pretty much alone on the road and can pause very quickly for that shot! Would I rather be out shopping or dining with the girls....no way! Let me get back home so I can make art!!

We artist understand each other even if no one else does.

Thanks for this thread!!

nana

AliciaS
08-27-2008, 12:29 AM
Yes, I'd like to save the world, but, so far, after 51 years, I'm not doing a very good job!:)

But seriously... I think creative folks are usually idealists. But it does get harder to stay idealistic as you get older, don't you think?

Don
I am dead serious when I say we can save the world.
I embrace Idealism.....
it is hard to stay that way....I try to fight it as much as I can.


Gail-sometimes I feel like I am the only one who sees things from an artistic point of view...thats why I think it is great to know there are other artists out there who feel just as crazy as I do sometimes...
I think they call it Passion....

Nana= nothing like the time spent between you and the paper --or canvas or whatever medium////It is exciting to have that very first moment when you start a painting and wonder ///what will happen this time!

Wrichards
08-27-2008, 01:07 AM
Hi ya :)

I know all too well the environment I need to get "Zen" with my work. If Im not toaly alone, I have to wear headphones and blinders on my glasses alot. but even then having someone around when im deep into a painting snaps me outa my art mood very fast... Theres a total engulfment of self when im in the Zen zone though. I look up and its 3..7..10 hours later, lovin every min of it ;)

nvcricket
08-27-2008, 02:46 AM
Richard,

Your quote is so apropos.

”Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” -- Picasso.

To me...I need an escape from the pressures and intensity of life whether it is a vacation, a good book, or my precious time with my pastels. I'm a sponge and I tend to absorb too much from life and I need to get into that "zone" as a form of escape. I am only human and I can only do what I can with the tools God has given me to help others. I am in a job where I work with people on a daily basis. I see the worst things you could possibly imagine and it is very difficult (impossible) for me to not take the problems of these people home with me. If I toiled in the fields all day...the first thing I would do when I got home would be to take a shower. When I get home from work I sometimes am on autopilot and walk into my room to "wash off the dust"???? actually to roll around in the dust, become immersed in the dust, dissolve into the dust, get lost in the dust, get into the zone. Often, the more troubled I am, the better my creation...to me anyway. When I do a pastel painting it will turn out so so. When I do a "creation" (from the zone), to me it becomes a personal best. Yep, when it comes to art I'm a recluse.
Just my tender thoughts...exposed:eek:

Carol

maw-t
08-27-2008, 04:11 AM
My thoughts? Painting is my time to stop thinking. I recently lost a precious loved one & my painting time has become even more precious to me. I am so grateful for it because I can shut out the thoughts, & sorrow while painting. That is a huge blessing right now for me. It is like you said Alicia, being in that zone where time passes, or does it stands still? I am not sure, but I love that place! I have always enjoyed my alone time. I love being with people too, yet while I am enjoying being with them, I am also thinking about wanting to be alone so I can paint! Great thread.. thank you for starting it!!

Paula Ford
08-27-2008, 06:42 AM
Ok, imagine this. I'm on my way home on a Friday night and the sun is just right, dodging in and out of the clouds, hitting the ground in random places, and I know one of my favorite scenes is coming up across the highway. I-24 is packed with 2 full lanes of people on their way home doing 70....here I am with my camera hanging out the window trying to get shots!

As with you nana, I can just hear the other drivers saying "what is that stupid broad doing up in front of us..."

It's hard for me to drive sometimes because I see paintings everywhere!

Colorix
08-27-2008, 07:08 AM
Alicia, thank you, it is a great topic!

Being a 'hermit' myself, (which is not so bad in Sweden as it is in the US of the extraverted loud boisterous competitive adventurous gene-pool) I've thought about things like this for quite a number of years.

Obviously, parts of it is the "hard-wireing" we are born with, some of us fill up with energy amongst people, while others expend energy in company and fill up in creative solitude. That is basically the difference between extraverted and introverted people.

Painters, poets, authors, writers, sculptors, philosophers, scientists, etc, need to live for a long time in the process, and in the unsurety of not knowing exactly what a work will eventually become. We have to be able to be in the state of Flow. I suppose it is only natural for people who need and crave a rich inner life to really need solitude, but also to need stimulation and input from that "unreal" world outside the ARTosphere. :-)

"You have your head in the clouds!"
"Yes, I live in the ARTosphere."

Will be back, life happens a lot today.

Charlie

AliciaS
08-27-2008, 10:10 AM
:) My reclusive thought for today.:)
I have another wonderful day ahead of me.
As a fulltime artist I am very fortunate to be challenged in ways that
most people aren't.
How mind blowing is that! I never thought in my wildest dreams that
my days would be filled with creating.

I think artists are a different breed.

I knew this thread would show me and others that we are linked by
something...something that makes us have this "need" to create.

I have yet to "purge" all that is in me.. and that is a good thing.:heart:

AliciaS
08-27-2008, 10:14 AM
Alicia, thank you, it is a great topic!



Obviously, parts of it is the "hard-wireing" we are born with, some of us fill up with energy amongst people, while others expend energy in company and fill up in creative solitude. That is basically the difference between extraverted and introverted people.







We have to be able to be in the state of Flow. I suppose it is only natural for people who need and crave a rich inner life to really need solitude, but also to need stimulation and input from that "unreal" world outside the ARTosphere. :-)

Charlie


How true Charlie!! well said:thumbsup:

AliciaS
08-27-2008, 10:16 AM
Maw-T--
I remember after my mom passed away. I remember all the paintings I did when I was so sad.....what a life saver...
I wish you Peace...in a time like this it is good to paint, paint ,,, paint!


Richard- that is a great quote !

"Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life"

Continental
08-27-2008, 10:31 AM
I think all artists are solitary people. The visual sense is more of an observer role than being in the spotlight of life.

My wife and daughter are so different. Both are very people oriented, left-brained and not artistic in the least. They often never see the visual beauty in life, even when I point it out to them. It takes all kinds in this world.

Lisa Fiore
08-27-2008, 11:16 AM
Thanks for this thread--I can definitely relate to all that is being written here! I too am an introvert--and a "worrier"..I take all of the problems of my loved ones and turn them into my own. My time spent drawing or painting--especially with music in my ears and no interruptions from the kids--is very precious to me because all of those "worries" finally go away as I lose myself in what I'm doing. I don't "think" at all during this time--not even about what I'm working on! (values? composition? These never enter into my head when I'm in the "zone"--which is probably one reason I never expect to make any money off of my hobby!! It's not until later when I'm back in left-brain mode that I'll look and think "well THAT doesn't really look right!" Oh well... It's very therapeutic regardless!:) )
I think my husband probably thinks I'm strange when I point out the different colors in the sky, reflections in water, etc, but my 12 year old daughter gets it! She's been drawing since she could hold a crayon, and often loses herself in her paintings and drawings. I'm quite proud of her! The other day when the tropical storm was moving through, we stood outside (under a roof!) to watch how the wind was moving the trees and she said, "Look at how the rain is hitting that puddle and the way the water moves after each drop! I'm getting my camera so I can take a picture and paint that!":smug:

Adele O
08-27-2008, 12:23 PM
I can relate. My whole family is reclusive and each of us has our own ways of being creative (except for my mom, she's just plain shy). But being from a small town, someone told me once that they thought my parents were snobs. I had to explain that my family are very private people and that we don't keep to ourselves because we think we're better, but because we need our space to do our own thing. It's hard to explain this to people who need to be around people all the time. We have to embrace who we are and remind ourselves that we're not hurting anybody and not worry about what the rest of the world thinks.

Colorix
08-27-2008, 01:26 PM
My wife and daughter are so different. Both are very people oriented, left-brained and not artistic in the least. They often never see the visual beauty in life, even when I point it out to them. It takes all kinds in this world.

Ah... yes... Perfect description of my dearly beloved husband. We complement each other, which is great, as it really makes me grow in many ways. WC saves my artistic sanity, though. :)

Logic: a systematic method of being totally wrong with supreme confidence. :wink2: :lol: :D

chewie
08-27-2008, 01:56 PM
my oldest DD is an introvert, and my DH is not--and he cannot understand why she is so passive. she is quite fine i assure him, she is happy and healthy and has her few friends but for her, that's all that is needed. she doesn't need 'the crowd' it IS hard for those who crave the crowd to think someone who is sitting alone reading can be happy.

i love my time alone. i have a short term job coming in october and i'm already cringing. i need the money, and its not a bad deal, but ewww, people!

i get the kids off in the morning, do my outside chores, then when i come inside again, i get this odd tingle of happiness--i'm alone! yeah! i often do not answer the phone anymore either. or the door. i'm working in the studio and those ppl will have to call back some other time. i used to feel like i owed them my attention, but not anymore. not sure if that's age or what, but the phone is there for me, not them. i do not say these things with an attitude of snottiness either, just this is me.

i love to go riding alone too, and i've gotten alot of odd responses from that. i know there is a safety issue there, but with the horse i ride, and i keep my head about me, its pretty low chance of problems, actually probalby no more than going for a walk or esp less than driving the car to town!

alot of it comes from i know that many others DON'T see the way light is hitting a rooftop or pond, or enjoy the silence of riding, only hearing the horses' sounds. and i do, so i dont' want them messing it up, or yapping, or voicing their unsolicited opinion on the way i'm feeling about it all!

i do love to get together with other like-minded ppl on art, or horses or goats, or dogs. but generally, i find society rather stinks. ppl never cease to amaze me with their material greed, coldness or cruelty towards each other or animals, rude behaviors or obnoxiousness. who needs that???

water girl
08-27-2008, 01:59 PM
What a wonderful thread. Thanks Alicia!
I was a competitive surfer until an accident changed my life in '81. Surfers are solitary people, to a point. I didn't need a team to play in the ocean. Each wave presented a different canvas upon which I created my own line of travel, but with the natural elements presenting limitations. It was my passion. Yet, surfers also need the companionship of fellow surfers. Like artists in a workshop, other surfers demonstrate their own techniques or movements and that is how we grew as surfers. We took those elements and created our own "style", and polished our craft.

Today,I like to be alone to get in the "zone", and have only recently decided to paint for myself, not others. But then again, I love to be with people. Gail brought up our way of "seeing light" and we can certainly share that with artists and non artists. My husband has often said that I’ve shown him a different way to look at light and shadow.

I have recently invited young friends aged nine and eleven to come paint with me this summer. I have found such joy in watching them get in the “zone”. My heart sings when they smile and realize that they can create. And best of all they have both asked the same question….”can I come back tomorrow and paint with you!”

Colorix
08-27-2008, 02:27 PM
To me...I need an escape from the pressures and intensity of life whether it is a vacation, a good book, or my precious time with my pastels. I'm a sponge and I tend to absorb too much from life and I need to get into that "zone" as a form of escape. ... Carol

Carol, wonderful thoughts, and perfectly normal for a sensitive artist.

Just look at how we flock to this thread, as it is expressing our deepest thoughts and feelings.

I think many of us have a heightened sensitivity, in a very positive sense. A real physical "hardwired" sensitivity that makes us notice things like the colour of the reflections in a window, how they shift with the light and the weather. Some of us take in a lot of impressions, and may need a lot of down or own time to process it. I've been told that around 20% of any population has heightened sensitivity. See more, hear more, sense more, and even think more deeply. Dream more, in vivid colour, *and* remember dreams quite often.

The type that would have been a spiritual leader of the tribe in the right kind of culture in the right era.


Charlie

IdahoHat
08-27-2008, 02:54 PM
Here I am back on this subject. When I say I paint with others on Thursdays, I mean we go out and plein aire paint. We pick an area and you should see us scatter. We get together to eat lunch afterwards and compare notes, but none of us are right next to each other to chat and paint.

In the winter, we have "Paint With a Friend," which I do go to most times, except it's a chance to learn from each other, much the way we do here. But, like most of you, I don't "get in the zone" there like I do at home or plein aire painting.

Like Nana, I have my camera with me everywhere I go. Even those at church know I'm always running down the road or over in the weeds with my camera (our church is across the road from Coeur d'Alene River out in the mountains.) :lol: My husband is now getting more patient when I want to stay and watch the sunset all the way down, just in case it gets a little more dramatic. Yes, we do look at life a little differently.

bluefish
08-27-2008, 02:56 PM
I was trying to get home from work on I 24 and this stupid broad had her head out the window trying to take pictures.........:lol: :lol: :lol:

would you believe 'blue....' likes to work in his studio with peace and quite? But he also loves to chat with people and never lets them out of his tent(at an outdoor show) unless they buy a painting..:D :D :D

and you're so right Paula, it is fun to 'needle' each other here on WC and keep them 'guessing' - 'who dat blue?'

'blue....':cool:

water girl
08-27-2008, 02:57 PM
Charlie,
I believe that you have hit on something about artists having "heightened sensitivity". When I drive through the neighborhood, I notice ever nuance of change, from lawns being mowed to a new car in the driveway to someone getting a new roof on the house or new paint. My husband drives the same streets and notices nothing!

AliciaS
08-27-2008, 03:32 PM
Continental
elizabeth 08
adele
charlie
chewie
karen
bluefish
hariett

Wow! I gues there is a need for this thread...
here I thought I was the only wierd one...
thanks for posting all of you...

How about in social situations when we have to be? Receptions for example..
I enjoy being sociable at receptions and my classes...
maybe because these social times are so few and far between I enjoy them even more...
But Just like Charlie said...being around people can be draining and being by myself is the "recharge" I need..

JWebber
08-27-2008, 03:55 PM
[quote=Continental]I think all artists are solitary people. The visual sense is more of an observer role than being in the spotlight of life.

Alas, I must protest.

I am an extravert and I paint ( this is a whole other debate of course! ).

However, whilst spotlighting, I see the light and colour of everything in front of me and see a potential painting in every room I work!

I have Social Disease. I have to go out every night. If I stay home one night I start spreading rumors to my dogs. Andy Warhol

Seriously, I hope there is not a profile. So far I have met many other artists in workshops and the group always has its quiet ones and its outgoing noisy ones!


Judy

AliciaS
08-27-2008, 04:13 PM
no profiling here....
just a place for us quiet ones to have a bit of comraderie..
if your outgoing and love to be with people...more power to you...
I just wanted to know if there was any other artist like myself...
and there are!!
Since us quiet ones spend alot of time alone its hard to find someone
to share these thoughts with...:wink2:

Colorix
08-27-2008, 04:31 PM
Judy, aw, please, a leeetle bit of profiling? :-) Sorry, I didn't mean to sound excluding, it is just that I'm fascinated with the higher-than-usual percentage of deep quiet types amongst painters. Of course there are all kinds of temperaments, no exclusion of anybody, all invited and welcome!

Sometimes us quiet types need to find out we're actually part of a couple of billions or so, quite a large minority, we too often get told we're weird.

Charlie

Deborah Secor
08-27-2008, 04:39 PM
I recently received a gift from a student of a book on inspirational thoughts of an artist. (thank you so much)
It got me thinking.
I lead a very reclusive life. I spend probably 90% of time alone in the studio or at home. I have chosen this life and I love it.
This life of an artist has led me to feel that I am the only one who thinks or feels all these things that make up "me'" as an artist.
Until I read this book. I found my own words that I have thought many times in each paragraph that I read.
I would like this thread to include other artists thoughts of everyday life as an artist.
Little gems that we can all read over and over again and let sink in and feel not so alone.


My first thought is of what I read of Georgia O'keefe once..a long time ago so I am really paraphrasing.
She said she lets compliments and criticisms come in the same way and leave the same way....not to hold on to either....very profound I thought.

I thought this thread would enlighten us all and show us we are not alone in our 'little artist world"
I hope people post some thoughts ...either their own or someone elses.

Thanks:heart: :heart:

Well, in response to the question about my everyday life as an artist, I wish I could have more studio time! I'm fairly gregarious and outgoing, and I enjoy people a lot, but I'm used to having a bit of solo time every day. I've started getting up at 5:00 in the morning and ushering in the day with my Bible study, but studio time is scarce. If you're dealing with caring for someone--a baby, a needy dependent, someone who is ill and needs constant help, or anything of that sort--I sure can relate to you! I would love to be able to have the assurance that I could have an hour a day at the easel, but the reality is right now I can't be sure of that. I've been so spoiled (in the positive sense), having time to paint for 30 years, that I came to think it was my due, but the fact is when you have another who needs your time and attention, you can't be sure you'll get 'me time' like you think you should. I guess in terms of the big picture of life, I've had my studio time and been blessed beyond measure by it, but now I'm needed in another way, and it will become a blessing too.

Anyone out there relate to this?

Wrichards
08-27-2008, 04:49 PM
The "seeing painting everywhere" is a constant tourture ;) and always the perfect picture, when I dont have my camera or as it wizzes by at 65 mph....

Social afairs are up and down for me. I enjoy going to events and shows, but I guess Im very hyper-critial of my work. Its taken along time to let flaws go by and still get a few koodos knowing I can do better. oh well no matter what I paint, I know the next one will be better (fingers x-ed) and that what I have displayed is an example of what I was at the time of its creation. Ive had to adopt a "it is what it is" attitude. Its not that Im not proud of what Im displaying, but its what people evaluate you at that moment. hmmm hope I didnt wander off the subject ;)

oh yea, Social afairs, Its like putting on a special set of clothes and becomming that person for the event. Some times it works.... other times :p

AliciaS
08-27-2008, 04:54 PM
we are all fortunate....if we choose to look at it that way...whatever path we are on....if it is taking care of a loved one..or children..or loosing a family member...we have the choice to take from it what we want...
all these events in our lives add to the fullness of a life as an artist.
Even if I wasn't painting in the studio...I have always really enjoyed being by myself the majority of the time..doing my own thing..
Painting has just added another dimension.
We make choices on how to fill up our day....
I have made a very conscious effort of what I put in my day....
I don't want to be the artist who teaches all the time..I want to paint..
My husband is number in my life....and when my mother was alive she
was number #2
I think we can choose wisely on how we spend our time without hurting or neglecting anyone..
its not being selfish...its being true to yourself.

AliciaS
08-27-2008, 04:59 PM
The "seeing painting everywhere" is a constant tourture ;) and always the perfect picture, when I dont have my camera or as it wizzes by at 65 mph....

Social afairs are up and down for me. I enjoy going to events and shows, but I guess Im very hyper-critial of my work. Its taken along time to let flaws go by and still get a few koodos knowing I can do better. oh well no matter what I paint, I know the next one will be better (fingers x-ed) and that what I have displayed is an example of what I was at the time of its creation. Ive had to adopt a "it is what it is" attitude. Its not that Im not proud of what Im displaying, but its what people evaluate you at that moment. hmmm hope I didnt wander off the subject ;)

oh yea, Social afairs, Its like putting on a special set of clothes and becomming that person for the event. Some times it works.... other times :p

good attitude i think Richard! LOL you didn't wander off the subject at all
I think the main subject in this thread has really come into its own..
Its mainly our deepest thoughts.....
being alone...no time alone....in the studio..not in the studio enough..
seeing things differently than others......lots of stuff to talk about...

ElsieH
08-27-2008, 05:08 PM
:wave: Hi, All!

For 43 years, nine months of the year, I spent all day with 20 to 30 kids (depending on enrollment that year) as an elementary school teacher, plus
I went to graduate school, and raised my own two children, have been married 44 years to my wonderful husband. Yes, I've always valued my time to be alone even within a house with other people. I play the piano and violin, so that has always given me "practice time" which is a time to take off all my other hats and be alone with my violin or piano. My art time, during that long time had to short bits of drawing, sketching.
My dream for my retirement three years ago, was to return to art more fully and have painting time, studio time.
But, when one has been with about 25 kids, all day for 43 years, would I be able to take the days mostly alone? After a few weeks of "Shouldn't I be somewhere else doing something else?" thoughts popping up in the old brain, I eased into the life of an artist.....and violinist....etc. quite well!
I've been with a watercolor group each Wednesday morning for three years, in a "class setting", not en plein air. I recently decided not to join them again this year....took much "yak" about recent illnesses, etc. and I just couldn't focus!
After 43 years with people, I don't avoid being with them, but I am delighting in my studio time, my en plein air time, my creative solitude.

Julia Camron's "Artist Way" books have been a great joy to me. From her I have added to my morning meditations, three pages of journaling, long-hand, sort of a morning brain-dump, a chance to get my "marching orders" for the day. My studio is not big...it is one end of my music studio and shared by a Steinway and a futon...but, as I walk down the hall to paint or practice, I enter a different world!....It's just God, me, pastels, paints, paper!
:clap: :clap: :clap:

JWebber
08-27-2008, 06:33 PM
Judy, aw, please, a leeetle bit of profiling? :-) Sorry, I didn't mean to sound excluding, it is just that I'm fascinated with the higher-than-usual percentage of deep quiet types amongst painters. Of course there are all kinds of temperaments, no exclusion of anybody, all invited and welcome!

Sometimes us quiet types need to find out we're actually part of a couple of billions or so, quite a large minority, we too often get told we're weird.

Charlie

Hey, I did not think you were being excluding, I just thought you were on a revelation roll exactly as you described! I enjoy all your posts as you have a sense of humour for a quiet gal! ooops .... I think I just profiled!

OK..I will give you your teeny leetle bit of profiling if you want, the statement that all artists are solitary people stands unchallenged. :lol:

Tressa
08-27-2008, 07:17 PM
I think I am a little bit of both...I enjoy going out with friends, having fun, and socialize, but I am always very relieved to get back home or have company leave.:wink2: I have always been able to live inside my own head, with a book, or thoughts, or planning a painting, or the actual act of painting. I too see potential composition in all things when I am out and about; in the car, I look at clouds, trees, scenery, whatever. Walking, I look at small things, light, people, colors in general.
No matter whether we are quiet, or social butterflies, I think we still see the world in a different manner as artists.
I am also lucky to have a very understanding spouse, who, like Charlies' is the exact opposite of me. He is an analytical engineer, very structure oriented, organized to the max, logical, and so totally not observant of the world around him in a creative manner:D . I must say though, that he never complains when it is 8pm, and I am busy glopping in dust, and no dinner has appeared yet. He will ask me if I want a sandwich, a pizza, or am I going to paint all night? :p
Tres

K Taylor-Green
08-27-2008, 10:50 PM
I have always been outgoing and very social, but I can't paint that way, not seriously. When a group of us gets together to paint, I get very little done. To me it seems more like a critiquing session as well as a social occasion.
Painting might not be the pursuit of an anti social person, or an introvert, but I think it is a solitary pursuit. You need to be alone to do your best work in that "zone". I am always relieved when I get more alone time. It opens the door for more creative possibilities.
I don't answer the phone or the door if I am painting something that is going well, especially if it is on a deadline!
I can wash dishes and talk to my mom on the phone. I can't paint and do that. I need solitude to explore all the emotional facets of what I am painting.

DAK723
08-28-2008, 12:15 AM
Do you ever feel like you are the only one who is in awe every time the light hits just right? It doesn't matter what I am doing or where I am, I want to scream out "do you see how beautiful that is where the light is hitting?" Does anybody else "see" like this 24 hours a day? :-)
Yes!

I think that this thread is showing that that feeling of discovery, that heightened sensitivity to beauty and our desire to share it, and create works of art that communicate it, does indeed unite us whether we are solitary, introverted, extroverted, or wild partiers!

Don

BabyBeeb
08-28-2008, 03:18 AM
I stumbled upon this very interesting and valid topic here....well....
I've always been a social being, but put me in my studio and all I want to be is alone. I have this silly little magnet that I have on my filing cabinet that I cherish. It says: "Time becomes meaningless in the face of creativity". I'm not sure if it's a famous quote, but just the same, I LOVE it! When I am working hard on a piece of art, I figure the world is at peace. I have solved all my problems, and I can rest knowing there is more to paint tomorrow. GOD, I love being an artist!

Colorix
08-28-2008, 06:26 AM
Jan, thank you! (I sometimes worry I put my foot in my mouth -- toes wrinkled from being there so often.) And I'll challenge it: *all* artists are *not* solitary people! Definitely not all -- quite *many* are.

Seeing beauty or paintings everywhere: Constantly, that is the "auto-pilot setting" of my mind/brain. I've been known to zone out in the midst of a conversation, and as visual always takes precedence (is that a word?) over the spoken word, I burst out: "(Sqeal) Oh, there is this lovely light on the bridge of your nose, you can really see the warmer intenser colour of the penumbra!".... You can imagine the reaction....

Me in social settings: At a party, I take on my opposite behaviour, and laugh and dance and chat and joke. I have a really good time, enjoying myself a lot, and am totally exhausted the next day. I love the occasional input of having fun this way, but where I really truly enjoy myself is in the studio, on the net (WC, naturally), and with my nose buried in a book. And I enjoy it even more *because* of my going out of my cave now and then and joining the rest of the tribe around the camp-fire. As the saying in Latin goes: Variatio delectat, something like "variation is pleasing" , or delightful.

Working in company or alone: I like having someone in the house. I do like to go to classes, where everyone is focused on their work -- there is such a special 'energy', or 'vibrations', in the room. The coffee break is fun, too. When I paint, I get so into what I do that I really don't notice distractions (unless they are major). In classes, people often have to actually touch my arm to get my attention, speaking my name is often not enough. And I have to almost physhically wrench my attention from the canvas/paper and use force to turn my sight to the person speaking. And my mind is still stuck in the Zone, so I don't hear what they say anyway... :-D
I'm usually rather absorbed until a painting is finished, even at home.

Funny, I often say I don't like to talk about myself... and then I do, at length, like here and now.

Charlie

AliciaS
08-28-2008, 10:39 AM
Last night I went to a life drawing class.
First time in a long long time i have been out in class room setting.

I was thinking about this thread while I was there, and wondered how many of the students there were feeling so serperate (it is a college class with younger people) from everyone...so different...

I think there should be "artist support groups"

throughout history you read about reclusive crazy artists....
I think it is more common than not!!

Just my thoughts for today.....

helenh
08-28-2008, 11:48 AM
I may be the exception. I love being around others, even when I paint. When I am in a workshop or class that I really enjoy (the teacher is excellent and the participants are creative and not whining), I have a peak experience. My continuing goal in life is to always keep learning, so when my work improves and I can actually see that improvement happening in a class I am overjoyed. I also love to paint with other artists (not chatty ones). They challenge me to push myself. Sometimes when I stay isolated in my studio I get into a rut, and I don't challenge myself. I get a lot of simbiotic energy in the company of others. Having said that, of course I spend a lot of time on my own. I guess that goes with the territory, but deep down I am an extrovert. I still struggle with the solitary nature of being an artist, but I compensate in some ways by painting with others when I can.

JWebber
08-28-2008, 01:12 PM
Helen,

I am with you on the workshop experience. I was just at a Margaret Dyer in Edmonds Washington the weekend before last. I benefit from seeing 11 different approaches to the same model and of course to see Margaret paint the model was beyond awsome. It was not a chatty group and Margaret is there to teach. We painted 3 poses a day, a different model was there each day and I was exhausted when it was over. Margaret Dyer gives an amazing workshop. Even if figures are not your thing her technique works for any subject.

When I am in my studio I cannot stop and do not want to. My husband, gem that he is, comes in to ask what we should have for dinner and what wine. I answer all his questions while he is there. When he calls me later for dinner, I am totally surprised with what he has made as I don't hear a thing when I am painting even if I look right at him!!!

I must be blessed with natural ear plugs from raising kids, dogs, cats and horses at the same time!

Judy

Jimerz
08-28-2008, 01:15 PM
A studio environment, or your place to create, is like escaping into the bathroom for some peace and quiet from the noisy party that life is. Solitude is one of the key ingreediants to capturing that elusive feeling, sensation, or emotion that stimulates the creative juices. Trying to transpose your vision while being with others is like trying to listen to the wind while someone is talking. The mind desires peace and stillness, so the reclusive aspect of art is nessessary to some extent. Being in the moment takes practice, but it's a nice place to be.

AliciaS
08-28-2008, 02:10 PM
A studio environment, or your place to create, is like escaping into the bathroom for some peace and quiet from the noisy party that life is. Solitude is one of the key ingreediants to capturing that elusive feeling, sensation, or emotion that stimulates the creative juices. Trying to transpose your vision while being with others is like trying to listen to the wind while someone is talking. The mind desires peace and stillness, so the reclusive aspect of art is nessessary to some extent. Being in the moment takes practice, but it's a nice place to be.

well said.

Painting (or whatever medium) is a spirtiual experience and has taught me to be in the moment.
If you want to grow .....really grow....I think the majority of your artistic time is wisely spent...being alone...no need for church....or dogma of any kind.....just you and your thoughts and creativity....

Wrichards
08-28-2008, 06:11 PM
Alicia, I hope it wasnt @ SC art :( wed night. It was the fist time I skiped wed night drawing in a long time.......

AliciaS
08-29-2008, 12:10 AM
Alicia, I hope it wasnt @ SC art :( wed night. It was the fist time I skiped wed night drawing in a long time.......

lol No... it was at the local college here...that would be a long haul for me ..,,,,anything farther than Oceanside is a big deal for me!!
If you see Patti at the art supply tell her hi for me///// I use to do workshops there...shes a great lady...

darlingart
08-29-2008, 05:18 AM
i love my time alone. i have a short term job coming in october and i'm already cringing. i need the money, and its not a bad deal, but ewww, people! i do not say these things with an attitude of snottiness either, just this is me.

i do love to get together with other like-minded ppl on art, or horses or goats, or dogs. but generally, i find society rather stinks. ppl never cease to amaze me with their material greed, coldness or cruelty towards each other or animals, rude behaviors or obnoxiousness. who needs that???

I can so relate to most things everyone else is saying, but boy chewie, I could have written your post, my eldest is an introvert with a small group of close friends, I much prefer my own company, or that of my dogs (I don't have a horse any more:(, and I really don't like people much - eewwww is right, give me my border collies anyday! Lucky I have a hubby who feels the same way, we spend all our time together but doing our own thing (his is computer programming/web design) and we couldn't be happier.

I find the things that other people find important and interesting...totally not, and rarely bother to go in depth of what is important to me coz I don't think other people much care.

I've come to realise that I do see things differently to other people, and it is an artists thing I guess. I have taken up photography because I could never paint everything that inspires me. My family have got used to me flying outside camera in hand exclaiming about the beautiful 'light'. LOL they've learnt to see it too, but other people usually say 'what light?'

The downside is, when life gets a bit difficult it can be an easy slide towards depression, although of course that could just be me.

Michelle

AliciaS
08-29-2008, 09:35 PM
The downside is, when life gets a bit difficult it can be an easy slide towards depression, although of course that could just be me.

Michelle
I understand Michelle....alot of times it does me good to just get out and make some form of human contact......even if it is just seeing people out there in the world......reclusiveness, can contribute to a little bit of insanity.....

chewie
08-30-2008, 01:13 PM
i think the hardest part of all this is where do the paintings sell?....in crowded areas of course! so altho its not where i like to be, it is sometimes where i HAVE to be. so i make nice, do my best, then spend the next day in the barn!

maybe its a border thing, that's what we have too! haha!

Wrichards
08-30-2008, 02:50 PM
This thread just gets more interesting :) reading other artists and thier thoughts, I was wondering how long it would take untill someone touched upon the "darker" side of being an artist.

In my humble opinion (IMHO), when an artist pours thier self onto a surface, they expose an inner side of themselves. When doing this it like painting a bulls eye on thier soul for others to stare at. The most difficult and courageous thing to do is alow others to view thier work becouse they are letting others view through the regular protective "shield."

The internal battle of the artist skill level of producing art vs the self confidence to alow others in to view it, results in stress. I personaly dont think Ill ever be as comfortable as I would like in this area eventhough my work does well in shows, sells well and I generaly get positve comments about it.

Deep inside I know how far I want my work to go. I know what Im producing is part of the journey to get there and is in the realm of acceptable, sellable art. but if only my hands could produce what is realy in my mind..... This is my main stress, Its internal. a Battle within myself thats fought every time I hold a brush/pastel etc. There are days when everything goes like Im watching someone else paint. its effortless and probably the reason I keep doing what Im doing. To chase those moments. Then there are other times when no matter what Im doing its not right. This frustration of "why isnt this working?" can sometimes start leading me down that "darker" path of frustration and a bit of self loathing.

The balance of internal struggle is somthing Im very aware of. The stress of, is this work good enough, are my flaws acceptable, am I strong enough to accept comments and critisisms of others espicaly peers, are all part of my neurosis.

I didnt choose to be an artist. when I was much younger I could draw and paint, there was talent there. but I chose another profession and have done very well. many years later, that inner artist finaly made its way out. I could no deny it and fed it.

I didnt choose to be an artist, I was born one. It has taken my life to accept this and I'll always be chasing those images in my head. All in all I know my personal artistis road is beyond my lifespan of experience, but I'll always continue as now and then I get a peek of where its all going. I have to remember my personal philosophy of each work is another step towards my potential and not alow pieces that dont fit my standards to bring me down.

ok now that ive finished my coffee and rambled long enough, HAPPY TIME :) its sunny and my ponchade is calling...:wave:

AliciaS
08-30-2008, 09:22 PM
Everything you have said Richard I have felt.
So you are not alone.
I chase that dream of the great painting...
however....I have also seen artists that want it so bad ( and I mean fame and fortune as an artist) that they literrally eat themselves alive..
they stare at me with daggers in their eyes wanting me or someone else to
give them that one little secret that will make it a hell of alot easier to achieve that fame and greatness ...
It is hard work plain an simple.
Its accepting those paintings that you paint once in while that are throw aways...
I think its important to have that inner peace and be patient with yourself and
accept the point where you art is at this very moment....
I am sure you know its the path that means the most...the process of learning....
Your ramblings are great!!!

Jimerz
09-02-2008, 02:37 PM
I like Richards post. It kind of reminds me of a sailing book I read where the author states that so many sailors are in such a hurry to get to there destination, and are so stressed about getting there without a mishap, that they fail to appreciate the journey and savor the essence of the experience. The fact is that the more you do something, and the further you venture from secuirity, the greater the risk of some sort of failure, but if you enjoy what you are doing, the failure isin't always as bad as percieved from the distance. Humbling experiences quite often make us stronger and help us laugh at ourselves a little. I hope that I didn't go off topic too much, but I am insearch of the "little gems of wisdom" that Alicia had intended to uncover with this thread.

DAK723
09-02-2008, 05:46 PM
I make no claim that this is a little gem of wisdom - there may not be any wisdom at all - but for some reason something in this thread made me think of the just recently completed Olympics. As I think I mentioned somewhere before, I am always struck by how many folks when posting paintings for critique, point out some rule they think they have broken and feel they must fix it. "I just noticed my horizon line is in the center, I guess I have to fix that," or "I see that two of my trees are the same size, better change that." My reply is usually "If it looks OK and there is no problem, then don't worry about the rule. The rules are only "tools" to fix mistakes."

In other words, we all seem so afraid to make mistakes and we judge the success of a painting on whether it is mistake free. This is like Olympic Gymnastics or Ice skating or Diving. The TV announcers seemingly ignore the astounding athletic moves and only point out the mistakes. Not taking that step on the landing seems more important than the fact that somebody did a flip and a twist and landed on a 4" wide beam! When I was younger, I seem to remember a time when the mistakes were not harped on so much and the creative and superlative aspects were emphasized more.

In some respects (although this could be the topic for a another thread) I think we need to let our subconscious creative side come to the fore, and not put so much emphasis on our reasoning, analytical sides. It is a tough balance, I think, to let the subconscious create while still filtering that creativity through your knowledge and experience. I think "the zone" that some have mentioned is exactly that. If you try to create using the reasoning part of your brain, you may not make many mistakes, but you won't find those creative bursts either.

OK, rambling over....

Don

MsNat
09-04-2008, 01:37 AM
I just found this thread – haven’t been on WC very long – and read through all the posts. I’m kind of stunned as I see a bit of myself in almost all the posts – and feel relieved to know that maybe I’m not really all that weird after all! I don’t have any formal art training except a brief course in botanical illustration and a semester in watercolor so I’m not guided by any ‘rules’ – in fact I’m not sure what they are! On the other hand, that also makes me hesitate to say I am an artist.

But anyway – the experience of losing awareness of the world – of being only in the moment and unconscious - guided by a connection to something in my soul and producing something that sometimes makes me cry because it is all so mysterious and I am so moved by it and don’t even understand how “I” produced it...this is why I want to paint. I don’t think I could find that exquisite experience any other way. And I hope that others here understand and share this feeling. -Natalie

Rusla
09-04-2008, 01:00 PM
I have always been a loner and prefer to be alone with my animals and art. The reason for this is even as a small child who only wanted to draw and write, no one could relate to my obsession. Richard said he was born an artist and I know what he means, I know that is what I was always and was discourage against it because it is not a 'viable' occupation.

I carry in my tiny purse a small sketchbook, pencils, eraser, and pencil sharpener. I have sketchbooks in every room of the house, except the bathrooms. Actually more than one sketchbook in every room.

I am also highly critical of all my writing, painting, and leather work, to me it is never good enough, others think differently. I don't know if any of us ever think our stuff is good enough no matter how successful we are or will be.

I cannot do a full time mundane job, it bores me so and takes me away from my art I also end up quitting or moving onto a different one because I feel stagnent People have and always have had a horrible time getting me to go out somewhere with them to party or whatever. I am not a very social person and prefer to sit and paint.

I am single and have been my whole life, the reason is that I know I would need to be with someone who not only understands and relates to the mind of an artist/writer but hopefully is one themselves. I have had brief relationships they ended because they could not understand even vaguely why I was consumed with art and writing. They were ultimately jealous of my art, writing, and animals.

Travelling to other countries is the only thing people can really get me to do or travelling anywhere that I can get pictures, commune with nature, or old architecture. My art is not restricted to painting and writing, it extends to doing art on leather also.

I find that every truly creative person I know needs a maid and I am a prime example of that. If I had the money, I would have someone come in and clean my house. The thing is I am so involved in what I am doing in these different mediums of art that cleaning the house is the least of my worries. Except now it has to be because I am running businesses out of my home.

I become angry when I am taken away from my artistic endeavours and that even includes phone calls.

Randi-Lee

scall0way
09-04-2008, 05:03 PM
My reply is usually "If it looks OK and there is no problem, then don't worry about the rule. The rules are only "tools" to fix mistakes."

Rules are made to be broken? :D I know when my instructor, Christina, brought in a copy of her "Best of Pastels" book to look at there were *plenty* of paintings by well-known artists that broke all sorts of "rules" - horizon lines in the middle, point of interest being dead-center in the painting, people/objects/etc that lead your eye away from the painting rather than into it (such as a bicyclist who is on the very edge of the painting and on his way out rather than in), yet they all worked for these artists.

I guess for those of us who are *not* famous artists selling our works in galleries we sometimes worry that people will assume, "she's ignorant and doesn't know any better" rather than "I guess she wanted to create that sensation".

Interesting thread. I came to art through my mom who loved the arts all her life, and she was one of the biggest social butterflies I ever knew. She put crayons and chalks and pencils in my hands almost as soon as I could hold them. In her high school class of 500 she was voted "Class Artist, Class Comedian, Most Popular, Most Cheerful, and Best Personality". I was such a failure to her as a daughter. She could never understand that I was happy to just stay home and read and draw, and she was constantly chivvying to into going to more parties! Not that I ever did as I was never invited to any - but she kept hoping if I tried to hang around with the "right" kids the invitations might start to flow. :)

So my mom and I had very opposite personalities and yet both of us had a love of art. I'm still more a loner than a social butterfly and since my son married and left home I've lived alone with my dogs and cats. But I do still work a full-time job, and sing in a choir, and take a weekly art class, and chat with friends online almost nightly, so I do have social interactions as well.

And while I love painting at home I often feel much of my best work is done in a classroom setting. Just being around other artists also working seems to charge my creative juices. Like Helen I sometimes feel I can stuck in a rut when I'm just working alone. My classes *do* have some chit-chat, and I value that, but we spend most of our time working. But parties and big social settings? I can function in them these days, but they are still not a fave of mine unless I know all the people well. It is still a struggle for me to go to Pastel Society of New Jersey meetings as I know almost no one there, and I'm not good at meeting new folks. But I feel it's important for my growth to have contact with other artists so keep hoping to "connect" there.

I never even *knew* you could do such wonderful things with pastels until I found WC! Until then my pastels looked like crayon drawings - no layering, etc. as I had no idea that was even possible! WC has really helped me grow.

But I do value my "alone" time and get antsy if I have to be around people all the time. This summer I spent a week in New Brunswick, Canada all by myself (though with three dogs :lol:) and it was very restful, and I got a lot of reading, relaxing and painting done. But the second week my son, his wife, and her sister joined me - and it was nice having them around too.

So I guess I need a balance, both with my life and with my art. But on the whole I'm much more of a loner and an introvert. If I were not maybe I'd be more successful as an artist! But I'm in the group of folks who would rather go to the dentist and have root canal without novocaine than think about approaching galleries with my art, and anything else needed to "market" myself.

So luckily I love working with pastel just for its own sake, though not sure what I'll do when I fill up my house with all my paintings. Luckily they are less bulky than oils.

DAK723
09-04-2008, 11:05 PM
Rules are made to be broken? :D I know when my instructor, Christina, brought in a copy of her "Best of Pastels" book to look at there were *plenty* of paintings by well-known artists that broke all sorts of "rules" - horizon lines in the middle, point of interest being dead-center in the painting, people/objects/etc that lead your eye away from the painting rather than into it (such as a bicyclist who is on the very edge of the painting and on his way out rather than in), yet they all worked for these artists.

The point that I have tried to make over the past many months (much to the annoyance of many, I'm sure:)) is that if artists break the so-called rules of composition repeatedly and successfully, as you have mentioned, then how can we call them rules? Rules are NOT meant to be broken - so if they can be successfully broken, they aren't really rules, are they. They are tools, suggestions, potential problem areas, ways to make your design more dynamic, maybe the reason why your painting does not work that well - but not rules. Since they are not rules - don't feel the need to follow them as if they were. Don't be afraid that you are making a mistake if you don't follow them.

It is interesting to note that I was just paging through some books on Landscape Photography. The photographers write about centering your point of interest as a viable alternative. They also write about centering the horizon line as a viable alternative. They write that in both these cases you create a more static, peaceful composition. Moving your point of interest to a 1/3rd point for example, makes it more dynamic. Moving your horizon line up or down creating more foreground or more sky changes the feeling of depth as well as making things more dynamic. But there is no mention of breaking rules.

Don