Saturday, November 3, 2007


Architectural drawing #11 9x15"

Serious art. From the moment I decided I would leave my practice and pursue a career in art I was consumed with the notion that my art be serious. My biggest fear was that I would be seen as a doctor dabbling in art and indulging his hobby and I was determined to avoid that characterization. This would require a lot of work, because at that time my art consisted of pen and ink drawings with a little color provided by ink and/or markers. I quickly learned of the fugitive nature of the inks and set out to learn about watercolors. For the next 12 years watercolor was my only medium. Eventually I moved on to mono types with clay, pastels, acrylics, oil, and mixed media. I now work in all of these.

In 1981 I left my 9 year old private medical practice to be an artist. For 12 years I worked part time in emergency rooms as I pursued my new career. In 1993 I went back into private practice (an itch I just had to scratch!). In 2002 I retired completely from medicine. Twice I had to write letters to my patients telling them I was leaving, each time a difficult and painful task. I was breaking up relationships based on mutual trust and respect I spent years establishing. I was leaving them to Paint!? I felt then, as I do now, that my art has to be worthy of the sacrifice of abandoning medicine for art.

Serious art. Does anyone know what that means? Can art be serious, or is it the artist that has to be serious? Does that mean there is art, and there are artists who are not serious?
Can a non-serious artist create art that is serious?


Momma Phoenix said...

I like the piece you linked in this post. I'm very particular about art, and I think thats why I don't own much... Sometimes I like abstract, but it all depends on what it looks like (some abstract is like looking at something gross on your shoe). But that one is really awesome looking. Not sure if you did it or if it is someone else's, but I like it!

William F. Renzulli said...

The drawing is mine, and I'm pleased that you like it. Although most of my work is representational, like many artists I am pulled to abastraction. It is very subjective, and therefore difficult, at least for me, to judge the work beyond saying that "it appeals to me", or "it doesn't appeal to me".

This piece is part of a series of 30+ drawings, some of which will be seen in future posts.

I appreciate yur comments.