Thinking about the why. Do you ever stop to think about why you are painting a particular subject or indeed why you are an artist at all.. I have been doing a lot of this lately. And what I can tell you is that the more you think about the why of a subject, or a particular painting, or your life choice as an artist, the deeper insights you have into your own work.
At some point in your journey, you will find that you have reached a reasonably proficient skill level. It is usually about now that you will become dissatisfied with mere copying and want to begin making art with more meaning to yourself and perhaps others. This is when you begin to search for what is unique about you as an artist. There are, after all, millions of artists in the world. The problem is that many artists at this point look at what is trending, or compare themselves with others and look for the answer in the wrong place.
It’s a bit like Alice going down the rabbit hole. You are venturing into uncharted territory. It is a landscape which is strange, yet familiar. Why is that? It’s because our artwork often brings to the surface, things we are not consciously aware of or reveals a direction not apparent until now.
At this point I would like to share a quote from Eden Maxwell’s book An Artist Empowered. On this subject he says,”To know why you have a specific gift is a personal triumph of empowerment. Be grateful daily for some thing, remove pettiness from your being, and know intuitively the value of your work as an artist. The other artist doesn’t have more talent; he has another talent.”
What you are searching for is your talent - your point of view. And this is why we don’t compare ourselves to other artists. Just get on with what your inner being is calling you to do and forget about everybody else. I was listening to an audio book about Georgia Okeeffe’s life and she was reported as saying that her success was due to not following trends and instead following her own vision.
So how do you go about finding this vision? That is the next question. If you’ve been following the blog lately, you will have noticed I’ve been doing a lot more drawing and small studies. This is the process. This is how you work out your ideas.
Catch next weeks post for some thoughts on where to get those ideas.