Let me start with what you all probably already know. I believe in God, and in his son, Jesus Christ, and while I'm at it, the Holy Spirit, 3 in 1. (They are very real in my life in such a way that I won't get into now lest I miss the point of my post. Ask if you'd like to know.)
Why do I say so now? What difference can this mean to my painting?
I am now faced with a question I didn't expect to reckon with: what exactly do I paint, and to whose glory?
On one hand, I want my work to be marketable. It's practical to want to earn money, and we all need it in this world. There are certain subjects that sell, that are fun to paint and that pay the bills.
But then...there is originality and the work of creativity...being original: Making that sound that only you can make as a uniquely created instrument. It couldn't exist before, because you didn't exist before. That kind of work takes courage and chutzpah, which marries audacity to courage. It's work that may be good, may be bad...but it's about the journey...a path of exploration.
There is a safe route, and then there is the road which attract critics, detractors and also the enlightened who can appreciate invention, even if they don't like the actual invention. It also might not sell.
God willing, I'm always going to be a student (even should I miraculously become as successful a painter as some of my favorite greats). Exploration is fun, though not usually marketable. Do I strike a balance between marketability and unique creation? Do I have the chops to do that?
(I wasn't allowed to explore being an artist very much as a child. I had all of the artistic impulses, but they were mainly silenced and suppressed in school..With the exception of my 4th grade year with my best teacher, Floy Schrage. She valued creativity as highly as mathematics and spelling...maybe even a trifle more highly. I'll always be grateful for her.)
Art students copy masters n order to learn to paint. But...there comes a point in the journey when they need to see what they can do. Risk themselves.
I'm at a crossroads.
I've already painted things I know people want, and they've sold. But it's a tremendous feeling to paint what I've wanted to paint and have it sell. It's a much more daunting to do that, but it's also infinitely more satisfying.
I'll say this...even when I painted what people have shown they want, I've done it my way. It has my style and so it does have that uniqueness. But, when I paint what I've been inspired to paint, or something in a flight of fancy and it has been received...well..that's an experience I'd like to repeat.
Meanwhile, I feel how tentative I am in searching for subject matter. It is exactly here where my faith enters in..I don't know what it's going to look like just yet, but I'm praying.
I know that no two of us are alike...I want to have that courage to make that unique sound. God, help me. I'm not even sure I know how to do that. Though I have done it before.
God is the creator..he can certainly teach me how to create. I pray that he will show me.
Thanks for listening...
Here was a flight of fancy:
I gave it to the one who loved it when she saw it. It was to be a trio as I played with different color ideas. The other canvas is just waiting to be painted. I never prepared the third canvas.
I will paint the second soon, it will be fun to make artistic decisions that have nothing to do with line or subject matter. I might even be bold and make the third after all...