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  #16   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-26-2012, 02:32 AM
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robertsloan2 robertsloan2 is offline
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Re: Feeling blue, but which one?

Originally Posted by fritzie
crafor, do you think you could get yourself to love the journey rather than being discouraged at the length of the road ahead? Do you love the activity of painting or mainly love beautifully executed painting?
I have found in my life that one thing that makes a field engaging is that it offers so much to learn. Sometimes seeing how much that is can be overwhelming, like a carnival on lots of acreage. In that case, it might be good to take one ride at a time rather than spreading yourself too thin all at once.

Pure, freaking, genius.

YES. I have seen too many brilliant professionals drive themselves miserably because their vision is still greater than their reach. Loving the journey and accepting that it's lifelong is not just the way to motivate yourself and keep going. It's also the most enjoyable path to a strong learning curve.

Whenever I draw or paint better than I used to, I get that kick of success. That happens so often that it's a rhythm in my life. It's what keeps me coming back to art again and again. Knowing that when I sketch my cat for the 1004th time, he will look even better and more lively and more himself than the thousand other tries. There are so many little firsts.

Last Monday, I did my first successful plein air landscape painting. I'd wanted to paint scenery in places I love ever since I was a kid going on family road trips to Yellowstone or Yosemite. When I moved to San Francisco the first time in 1978, I fell in love with Golden Gate Park and wanted to paint there from life so bad I could taste it.

Now at age 57, I finally did without being ashamed of the painting and everyone can tell it's a landscape. If they have been to the park they could find the spot I was standing. It sold this morning.

I think I'd have been discouraged if someone told me in 1978 "It doesn't matter you bought that $65 pocket watercolor kit from Winsor & Newton, you're not going to succeed at this till you're a 57 year old disabled guy." But I enjoyed so many other firsts along the way that I didn't suffer. I just anticipated it. Pretty sure at every stage that my next try at it would come out better than the last.

Little firsts along the way were branch studies that were good branch studies with a pine cone even if the rest of the scene was just a horizon line. Or tiny thumbnails in pen of other pretty places. A postcard watercolor plein air painting in Connecticut a decade ago. But I finally did it in Golden Gate Park and it's tons better than the little watercolor that was my first recognizable outdoor scene.

I learned to draw before I learned to sketch. I'd have got to this point much sooner if someone told me to try that timed sketches from life thing daily.

Robert A. Sloan, proud member of the Oil Pastel Society
Site owner, artist and writer of http://www.explore-oil-pastels-with-robert-sloan.com
blogs: Rob's Art Lessons and Rob's Daily Painting
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:43 AM
crafor crafor is offline
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Re: Feeling blue, but which one?

...................Thank you................

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Old 04-26-2012, 10:14 PM
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Re: Feeling blue, but which one?

Crafor, I have so much to tell you. I so want to inspire you to paint. Robert and the others have said so many wonderful things that all make the greatest sense that i don't know how much I can add, other that telling you that I myself do not really have many drawing or painting skills. That is just a fact. I am not saying that to be down on myself or something, I'm saying that to make a point... and that is...

I have been an artist for 25 years. Full time since 1999. I have quite the career in fact. I have a Pollock-Krasner under my belt, I'm in the Getty and a bunch more museum collections. I would not tell you this if it were not true. You don't need "talent" or skill. You need passion and creativity. If you have that, you're golden sister! Take my word. I would not lead you astray. You can PM me anytime and I will write you and I will correspond with you as much as I can.

In the 25 years that I have been working on my career, I have been beyond depressed many, many, many times. I have been in ruts and I have felt just as you do as of late. You CAN create your way out of this and you CAN enjoy the journey. Because the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is just no biggie -- you are riding a freaking rainbow for Christ sakes!

Anyway, everyone here is great and they can help you out, including me. I LOVE helping artists. It's THE best reward of my entire job - giving back. All I want is to make art and help make artists create more art. PM me!
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:53 AM
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Katie Black Katie Black is offline
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Costa Rica
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Re: Feeling blue, but which one?

Fantastic replies! honestly I love this place, and admire many people on it, ....how I just wish you could all come round for a coffee and a piece of my homemade chocolate cake
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:47 PM
Use Her Name's Avatar
Use Her Name Use Her Name is offline
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Re: Feeling blue, but which one?

Originally Posted by crafor
work to remember that the masters were massively talented to start, and attained that designation after years of apprenticeship and study, that MANY people who use this forum are terrifically talented, have been drawing and painting for years, many with good to great teachers, with hundreds—nay--thousands of hours of work, reading, studying, relearning, applying, and it just gets overwhelming. Over the last months I learned a few things. I'm beginning to remember them and apply them even if sporadically. I post some of my work in various fora because I can see a little better what really needs work. (FWIW, that's everything) I do see a bit of progress at times.

To cheer you up, there is a somewhat boring economics professor's book on art called Conceptual Revolutions in Twentieth-Century Art by David W. Galenson. If you have a chance to read it, do. It will allieviate your fears about not getting far enough fast enough, or also the whole erroneous concept that masters were geniuses at the get go and all sorts of things.

Galenson pinpoints 2 types of artists, the young genius type, and the lifelong tinkerer type. "Masters" actually fall into both categories. Many of the young genus type usually do their best work before age 29, and then fall off the map. The artists who have the most staying power are those like Georgia O'keefe, and Monet-- old geezers like myself.

Artists who get the most air time among art historians seem to be prodigious in youth, and often burn out quickly-- degenerating to self parody later in life based on one "concept" usually out of date by the time they are in their fifties.

The other kind slogs through, often giving up more lucrative "middle class" futures in order to play the game of art. Please get a more realistic view of what "all artists are like," because they are not really like each other at all, and not one "type" typifies or personifies all artists.


If by "old masters," you mean those who lived during ages of guilds, apprenticeships, and Papel commissions, please be aware that art has gone through multiple re-structurings and paradigm shifts since those ages. Galenson in his brilliant book also goes through this. Art and Galleries are very much linked but only post "Refueses" era, and even then, things were done differently. The gallery owner actually purchased works, usually at a bargain basement price from people like Van Gough (killing them, essentially, or driving them mad, and forcing them to live in poverty). The man who created modern galleries was Picasso. Those kinds of galleries are pretty rare today as well due to the internet. Art is a bit of a free for all now, with some people going traditional ways and others going with the internet sales and other ways. The art sales world continues to transition and morph. Various things are still relevant-- one is that you must continue to produce work, whether it is privately or for sale.

Next Point:

Do not despair. Another book I would recommend is Nassim Nicholas Taleb's "Black Swan." This is another economy book. The reason I think you should read it is to become aware that there are certain "jobs" where there is a long, hard plodding journey ahead, lots of pitfalls and dead ends, and only a few people actually come out "super successful." Taleb identifies various Black Swan type industries, and one of them is Art.

In conclusion: Continue to move forward and experiment. Like many have said, it is a path and commitment. To some it is less than to others. Age does not matter, the work matters. True success in the arts has to do with the influence you have over other artists-- whether your work is looked upon favorably, and you are seen as a role model and predecessor.

One thing I have learned through time, is that an artist should know that not everything will work out. There is a lot of disappointment. Learning how to identify the thing that is not perfect, does not fit, is part of the artistic process.
Making art since 1973-ish
Blog under reconstruction

Last edited by Use Her Name : 04-28-2012 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:39 PM
crafor crafor is offline
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Re: Feeling blue, but which one?

Again, thank you. Thank all of you. I feel your empathy and your support, and that helps.

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