Monday, July 2, 2012


To be dependent on others – one of the unfortunate burdens of many artists.  Whether it is for commercial success or the satisfaction of having one’s art accepted by critics and viewers, the artist must depend on the approval of others.

For some artists this results in desperate attempts to create only the work that appeals to his or her audience and/or market, no matter how far removed it is from their own creative interests.  They are willing to paint to sell or to please the critics.

Not all artists succumb to this dependency in such an extreme manner; they remain true to their own creative inspirations with little or no compromising with these external pressures, doing all that they can to succeed on their own terms.
But I suspect it is the rare individual who remains totally independent of the acceptance of others, commercially or otherwise.  Even if they create or perform to their own standards and satisfaction, the desire to reach out to others is always there.

I create art because I have to…it is what I am and what I do.  It is one the things that defines me.  Over the years I have enjoyed a fair degree of commercial success, never enough to support me but always a necessary part of my income.   Fortunately most of what I enjoy painting has broad appeal so for the most part I am able to “paint for myself” and not for others.  The key words here are for the most part; dealing with galleries usually requires some acquiescence to their needs, however slight or significant they may be.  In the end, like so many things in life, it is all about compromise, finding that comfortable balance between the opposing forces.

I feel fortunate to have found this comfortable place between painting for others and painting for myself.  However, in neither case am I totally independent because of my need to have the work seen; I don’t consider my work complete until others have seen it, even if it is only a single individual.

And in the spirit of this dependency, here is a view of a painting in progress:

24x48" canvas...acrylic


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