While browsing through Pinterest recently I came across a quote that suggested that artists lived in their fantasy land and should be pleased about it. On the face of it this seemed like standard dogma. Heck anyone trying to make a living from painting pictures must be living in fantasy land right? Not so fast.
Some may be cruel about it and call artists delusional. I am not sure if anyone would have called Picasso delusional without coming off second best. Many artists come to mind who, I imagine, would put up a vigorous argument that they have a firm grip on reality.
In truth an artist must strike a balance between creativity, imagination and reality. To succeed the artist must have focus. A steely determination is called for even in the face of criticism from loved ones. A large ego? Perhaps but that is not what I mean here. A grip on reality does not require ego. It requires humility, acceptance and resolve instead.
Julia Cameron, author of the acclaimed The Artist's Way, writes that an artist's creativity is grounded in reality. The artist cannot be distracted by pretense and arrogance. Nor timidity. Instead the artist must get an education in the realities of life including such things as marketing, finances and strategy. The artist is a brand and business too. It is foolish to leave these in the hands of third parties.
Every successful artist today has a grip on these realities and still must retain creative innocence. I demanding life indeed.
Now can anyone still suggest that artists are lost in fantasy?
Yes I have been promoting plein air painting a lot lately. There has been some enthusiastic artists and others who remain skeptical. So in the spirit of artistic solidarity I have been working on a short course aimed at encouraging artists to venture into the great outdoors - and paint it!
This course, coincidentally called So You'd Like To Paint Plein Air?, will consist of preparation for painting plus full demonstrations on location. Short video lessons will make it easy to get bite-size segments of information that you can watch and apply in your own time.
The good news is that all my mailing list subscribers will be given FREE ACCESS to the course. Expect to get started in April just in time for the Easter hols. So if you are keen to have a go please make sure that you are subscribed. Simply enter your email address below this post and you will be on the list.
To get you in the mood check out this new Slideshare.
PS: Tell your friends too!
Summer will be giving way to Autumn in this side of the world. This is the time when I can look back at some of the paintings completed this past season and offer them in my Summer Exhibition.
I hope you enjoy the paintings and perhaps find something to remind you of Summer's carefree moments.
The artist's path is often rocky, filled with traps and wrong turns. If we spend out time envious of other artists - jealous even - then our eyes are not on our unique path. The result is that we can stumble and fall. Perhaps lose our way completely.
Every artist can learn from other masters, but that is a whole other thing. Learning is positive. Envy is a negative emotion that keeps us down. Be free of these thoughts and free your art.
Why not take some art lessons?
There are good art courses on Udemy.Com. They are running a few specials at the moment which may interest you. You can also get $5.00 off any course by clicking the coupon below! I may mention that I have a course called Learn To Paint With Impact. So go ahead and try something new with expert tuition and have some fun.
Is the world getting more conscious of the need for creativity? Experts agree that the world is more than ever divided between rich and poor. What about the divide between artists and the creatively blocked? I say creatively blocked because everyone has a creative side that needs expression in some way.
If more of us acknowledged this creative side and gave it expression then would we not be more balanced people? More fulfilled even?
I have been researching creative issues as part of a new art course coming out later this month. One of the surprising results of this research is just how many people want to get in touch with their creative side. What is stopping them? First off too many people laugh off art as a joke when put alongside the world's dire issues. I get this because it is a grim situation if one focusses on the TV news. However consider how art can uplift communities both emotionally and economically. What would the impact be on community issues such as crime, unemployment, family breakdown and other psychological issues? I am suggesting that art and creativity in the wider sense is easier to follow than waiting for expensive government building projects and so on. In short art is not a trivial subject but can be part of a wider upliftment of society.
What about people who have a secure life, but still struggle to get their art going? The excuses are common ones. No time, money or talent rank highly. These excuses are tough to challenge because of the emotional firepower that people have to support the excuses. In short these are symptoms of serious creative blocks that must be faced head-on.
The hardest argument to attack is the one involving money. Yes art is the victim of this issue, but I can assure you that there a plenty of struggling lawyers and other professionals too. If you believe an idea then it is true for you. That is the way it is. Finally there is no rule that says you have to give up your day job to be an artist. You have the freedom to decide how to run your life. Art does not demand that you sacrifice your financial wellbeing. Art simply requires you to create in order to free your innate spirit. One step at a time.
When to start your creative revival or how is up to you as long as you begin. An hour on the weekend? Anyone can manage this. I can assure you from personal experience that once you begin and commit to the process you will have momentum. This can carry you onward until you build up a regular practice. A creative rebirth opens doors by its very nature. Trust in yourself and the process. Yes progress may be glacial at first, but we all know the power and impact that is behind such movement.
Art is worth your while. If you find yourself stuck and in doubt remember that it is often one small step that is required to free your art spirit. What if you take that step now?
A quick slideshare to show the main points of plein air painting. I encourage anyone to try it out and please let me know how it goes. Any questions or problems about setting up or the painting experience? Contact me with your questions and I may be able to answer them on this blog with a quick demo too.
NEW: 2 DVD SET