It's not uncommon for us artists to take ourselves verrrrry seriously. After all, we deal in truth, angst, the Golden Mean (have you ever tried figuring that one out?) and other undecipherable stuff. We uncover truth. We wear black.
So it was with absolute delight that I accepted a commission from a dear patron to paint a cow. A big one. Make it blue. A 4-H heifer for you purists. With flowers around its neck, please.
'Clover' 2010 copyright Patricia Scarborough, 36x48" oil
Alyson Stanfield wrote a recent post on her ArtBizBlog about working hard, and having fun. She compares carving out a reputation as an artist to Shaun White, Olympic gold medal winner in the snowboarding competition.
Anyone who has tried to walk across a frozen parking lot in the winter can attest to the difficulties of making it across a slippery surface. Snowboarders purposely fling themselves across super-slick courses while standing on a super-slick board, doing loopty-flops and whirly-thingys and then landing upright to sail gracefully across the finish line. It's serious business, with lots of endorsement money and reputations on the line. They train hard to perfect their style and build stamina for competition.
And these folks have fun.
Artists and snowboarders have alot in common. Sometimes they dress funny. Sometimes so do we. They work really really hard to improve their skills. So do we. A few of them make good careers out of their chosen field of expertise, and a few of us do too.
Do we have as much fun, though? Some of the art blogs I read are so full of self-importance and seriousness I can hardly stand to read them. Too many artists take themselves so SO seriously, as if to smile about their work would be to pull the rug out from under their hard-earned earnestness. Too many conversations with artists are, well, painful. Anguish, frustration, lots of delving and working hard and being misunderstood.
I'm with Alyson and Shaun. You betcha work hard. You betcha make a ton of money. And for heavens sake, stop taking yourselves so seriously! Laugh a little. Paint something that makes you smile. Squeeze out too much pink, and use it all up. Spend as much time recording the goofy side of being human as you do recording the hard parts of life on this planet.
Day 93 Tagged, 2009 copyright Patricia Scarborough, 5x7" oil