Friday, February 21, 2014

Don't Worry, Be Happy (You're an Artist)

"Bluebird of Happiness" 6x6 oil on linen
Happy Friday! The other day I was thinking about art and happiness. Some of you may recall those Peanuts posters from the early 70s (or so) that started with Happiness is…Like “Happiness is a Warm Puppy.”  Or here’s an even better art example—(Linus I couldn’t agree more!)

Sometimes I think it’s easy to focus on the frustrations that surround being an artist.  For example, I’ve been pushing myself a lot lately. That makes for a lot of unfinished or even recycled paintings. Arrrgh! As Charlie Brown might say.

Bit I’ve come to realize after painting for over 30 years that mastering a craft is not as linear or constantly rewarding as you’d like it to be. But one of the great joys of art is that it likely impacts your life on a grand scale (values, goals, purpose, and principles) as well as on a smaller daily scale. I have faith that these are two powerful forces will continue outweigh the challenges and propel me to return to the easel. (Even though some days it may be a close call.)
Yay--New clean, crisp brushes (Rosemary & Co. ivory flats)
So what makes you happy in the studio? Some of these “little daily moments” may sound silly to non artists (does anyone but artists even use pencils anymore?) but frankly I think that’s what makes us special. For me Happiness in the studio is...
  • Squeezing out a fresh tube of white (isn’t that the best?)
  • Unwrapping a new canvas (the bigger the better)
  • Testing a new crisp brush (just received these new Rosemary ivory brushes today)
  • Getting your drawing right—the first time
  • Reading a new art book or magazine
  • Discovering a new favorite artist (recently this was landscape painter Hibbard for me)
  • Running up to the art store (you know...just to look around) 
  • Day dreaming about plein air vacation destinations (any place with water....)
  • Sharpening a pencil (seriously)
  • Fresh flowers just begging to be painted...
Thankfully the list goes on. So I'll be back in the studio tomorrow. Hope you have a very happy weekend!

1 comment:

  1. You are singin' to the choir here! Love the moments--and the painting is happy indeed. Great post.