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Are You Awesome or Do You Suck?

by Keith Bond on 1/11/2010 3:08:26 PM

This article is by Keith Bond, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews.  You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.

Artist Karen Cooper commented on my previous article “Thoughts on Approaching Galleries”.  The main point of Cooper’s comments was that there is a “…huge gray area filled with blobs of alternating over-confidence and cringing self doubt.”  In her comments she also quotes from Clint’s article “The Moment of Hope” about artists who are amateur and think that they are on the same level as masters and deserve to hang next to them.  I can relate completely.  I am even guilty of being one of those over-confident artists approaching a gallery when my work was amateur (maybe I am still).  I have also had plenty of self-doubt moments – and still do.  

So this leads me to today’s post.  How do you know if you are good enough for a gallery?  How do you know if you are ready?  Are you awesome or do you suck?!

First, let me say that I think it is a natural evolution going from the over-confident amateur to the self-doubting artist.  But with time the mature professional has learned to balance both.  I think both confidence and doubt are healthy for the artist, but balance is the key.  Cooper’s question was addressing that balance.  What is the formula?  I don’t know.

Over-Confidence

This is important in the early stages of artistic development, because without it you won’t begin the journey.  Confidence in yourself gets you creating – and keeps you creating.

Self Doubt

As Clint mentioned in “The Moment of Hope”, when you begin to doubt yourself as an artist, you begin to be open to learning and growing as an artist.  This is a great moment!  I know many gallery owners who would much rather work with artists who doubt themselves.

Healthy Confidence and Recognition of Shortcomings

As you mature in your art, you will gain a healthy, more realistic confidence balanced by a need to improve and grow.  You will realize that you are good but will want to get much better.  This confidence comes with looking back on the progress you have made.  It is still difficult to find the balance sometimes.  There are still times when you will still oscillate between the extremes. Again, I don’t know the formula and every artist is different.  But, it is when you are at this point when you are ready for that gallery. 

How do you know if you are at this point?  Or are you still blinded by over-confidence?  How do you objectively evaluate your work?  These are difficult questions.  I will offer a few suggestions. 

Do you Doubt Yourself?

If you don’t doubt yourself, you aren’t ready!  If you consider each of your paintings as great, then you aren’t ready!  If you think none of them are good, you are almost ready!

How Long Have You Been Creating Your Art?

Six months?  One year?  Five years?  We all develop at different rates, so I cannot say whether you are good enough in one or five years.  But realize that the professional artists selling for top dollars in those galleries have worked for 20 or 30 or more years.  Yes, there are up-and-coming artist who haven’t worked as long as the masters, but they still have put in several years – a lot of hard work.  I know of instructors who have encouraged art students to paint 100 paintings before showing any to a gallery.  Or others who say to paint for 5 years before showing a gallery.  The longer you can work on developing your abilities, the better the likelihood you will get representation and the more likely you will sell.

Who is Your Audience?

Who, besides your mom or spouse thinks your art is great?  If possible, gain a non-biased critique from someone who KNOWS art.  Expose your art to art collectors, fellow artists, critics, and others who love and know art.  This isn’t fool-proof either, though.  The French Impressionists are lauded today, but weren’t accepted in their time.  However, with today’s broader acceptance of various styles and genres, you will likely have a less biased opinion than they did.  Be open to their comments, not defensive.

Are you Defensive?

Are you defensive about your art?  Does no one get it?  If so, you aren’t ready for the gallery!  This may sound harsh, but if you are defensive, you probably are still in the over-confident stage.  Yes it is possible that you may be like the impressionists – misunderstood and under appreciated – but it is much more likely that you are over-confident.  Don’t take it personally.  When the need to improve becomes as strong as the need to express yourself, you will grow and this will lead to finding your audience.

Compare Your Prices

What are your prices compared to those at the gallery you wish to join?  Some galleries have well established artists who sell at high prices.  Other galleries have up-and-coming artists with lower prices.  Many galleries carry a combination of both.  But where do your prices fit?

If you sell a 16 x 20 oil painting for $500 and the least expensive painting in the gallery for that size is $2000, it is not the gallery for you.  If you sell your 16 x 20 paintings for $2000 and the most expensive painting for that size in the gallery is $500, the gallery is not for you. 

Of course this raises an issue that I won’t address here – are your prices appropriate?  That’s another article.

There are other gauges to help you navigate that gray blob of confidence and doubt.  And no gauge is fool proof.  But I hope these thoughts help and give you encouragement.  Good luck navigating through the blob.

Sincerely,

Keith



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Related Posts:

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You Are the Diamond Cutter

Improve Your Artwork With A Double Dog Dare


Topics: Gallery/Artist Relationship | Keith Bond 

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 80 Comments

Carole Rodrigue
via fineartviews.com
Another fine post Keith! I remember that overly zealous confidence I had several years back, and boy do I wish I'd had more humility back then. Unfortunately, I've got several pieces out there that I wish weren't! But at least somebody liked them enough, even then.

A healthy amount of self-doubt and criticism is good to have. I definitely agree with this. I know I've improved a lot over the years, but feel as though I still have a long way to go. I hesitate entering many competitions, thinking I'm just wasting my money. But I am learning to select which pieces might be good enough. I can only hope to keep developping as an artist, and acquire that healthy balance of self-criticism and knowing when something is good enough to attempt entering a competition or approach a gallery.

Thanks for this post! It's wonderully written, and I love the steps you've included.

Carol Schmauder
via fineartviews.com
I always find these articles informative and instructive. I have confidence some days and none on others. My work has been accepted and shown in galleries over the years, but I know I still have much too learn and a lot of room to grow. I know I don't fit in the big leagues but hope with hard work and dedication I might some day be there. Thanks for all the great advise.

Carol Schmauder
via fineartviews.com
Please excuse the typos in my comment. I couldn't find an edit button.

Fay Terry
via fineartviews.com
You pointed out some good things to be aware of Keith. The thing I like most about Fine Art Views is learning from other artists.
I kept wondering why it was that the more my paintings improve, the more dissatisfied I become. It's good to know I may be normal.


Nancy Park
via fineartviews.com
Dear Keith, you have almost convinced me to send some of my work to a gallery I have been interested in for some years. I think I might be too embarrassed to actually stride right in with canvases in tow.

I've been painting for at least fifty years, both in commercial art, and now as a fine artist. Very little of my current art knocks my socks off. I got sidetracked into trying impressionism for a few years, but it's not me, so I'm getting more training doing realism, which has mostly been my choice. I don't know if I have a style; it's hard to tell when you're subjective about your art, as each individual artist is.

I'm attending a workshop, for the second time in a year, with Mike Wimmer as the instructor, at the end of this week. He does the sort of art that I like to do. Or would, if I could keep getting better.

I'm either painting or collecting my images through drawing every day now. I do hope I'll improve enough to approach the gallery I like. I have gotten so busy just creating "art" that I have little time left to market.

Thanks for your continuing articles. This one left me somewhere between thinking my art sucks, and thinking I might be good enough. Maybe that's reality!

Sharon Weaver
via fineartviews.com
The title of Keith's article, Are you Awesome or Do You Suck, filled me with angst, dread and concern. Will there be a quiz to take where I will find out I suck? But no, as usual, Keith has addressed a difficult subject with his usual tact. The last month has brought success with a number of sales but also rejections that have been difficult. Criticism is always a tough pill to swallow but in the past I have used it to propel me to the next level. I am working on that now.

Tuva Stephens
via clintwatson.net
Keith,
You pose so many interesting questions for artists to consider. Presently my work is only in a a co-op type gallery in rural West Tn. Will I every get my work in a big gallery? I don't spend time trying to figure that out. Do I charge enough for my paintings, probably not; I have to consider my area. For now I paint as much as I possibly can and to the best of my ability. I do enter as many competitions as possible including some national ones recently. I don't think I will ever learn all the mysteries of the medium of watercolor. I've had some great teachers and I continue to study. I will continue to paint no matter what. To me that is a real artist and if success finds me then so be it. I guess I am sort of a cross between van Gogh and Grandma Moses. All I know is I am getting my work out there by creating my website and learning more everyday. Tuva

Linda Wilder
via fineartviews.com
Funny how some days you feel you can do no wrong and are oozing confidence and yet the very next day wallow in self-doubt! All part of the learning process. I see such growth in my work even from month to month. But I thought I was ready two years ago...I was not.I am more ready now but my work will continue to evolve and I'm confident I will have more self-doubt.

Rob Juliano
via fineartviews.com
Totally and completely wrong in your thoughts. Art isn't measured like everything else is in this world. Take 20 people and look at one piece that you've made. All twenty might now like it. Add a 100 more people and who likes it might be 10 out of 100. Now, let it age over 10 years, that number might increase. Let it age over 50 years and I know the numbers will increase. My fellow artists who are about the arts and not the money, do your thing and the more freely you create, The less concerned you become with others opinions. The more confident you become in YOUR work regardless of others opinions, the sooner you create that masterpiece. why does EVERYTHING have to be about popularity and if the masses understand it or not? Just maybe the masses aren't ready or are closed minded themselves. Horrible article and did nothing but stump the growth in the arts one more time. What sells is freedom and it's always sold. People know and feel it when it's real. Grow a HUGE ego and with pride...create. Someday you'll find your grove regardless of this critic who seems to have nothing better to do than talk smack. It's all talk, art is a feeling. This typical brainy know it all is like professors who teach students what can't be done and backs it up with seemingly smart statements. NOTHING great happens from these types of people. I was told by the so called pro's that cars can't run on water. I know for a FACT they can, I've done it. ART and science are so common in thought. Believe in your work and get beat up again and again until you finally find your answers. That IS art. And we are who shapes the world. Not narrow minded I'm going to write just to write something people. Don't mess with the arts and artists because you've messed with everything else. Your opinion was a waste of my time.

Trent Gudmundsen
via clintwatson.net
It's the age-old adage...the better we get, the more we question our abilities. God's formula for keeping us humble, I suppose.

I've noticed that usually the most talented people I know are also a joy to be around.

Truly great people are never intimidating...they only put you at ease.

Transient Art
via clintwatson.net with facebook
I like to try to be even in this area, concerning confidence and making art for money or for fun. I find myself going back and forth from being confident in my work then to finding things I don't like and wanting to improve on them. I make art because I love it, but I also want to be able to support my family with it. I just think it's all a very confusing balancing act. Lol

Lauren

Leslie Saeta
via fineartviews.com
Great article Keith. Especially since this morning I thought my painting was awesome and this afternoon "it sucked"! As artists we work hard to improve with every painting and yet the ability to determine whether we "are good enough" often lies in the eyes of others. I really think if you are interested in a gallery you should reach out to other artists and collectors and seek their opinions. It is difficult to ask but without input from others we may not get an objective view of our art.
This reminds me of the early shows on American Idol when the kids who are AWFUL start crying and cannot believe they are sent home. I often turn to my boys and say, "Where are their friends and family? Why didn't they tell them they have zero talent?"!

Esther J. Williams
via clintwatson.net
Keith, this is kinda funny but I was just talking about this the other day. I even wrote a blog on it, very similar. We think alike. I was also just in a gallery yesterday that I`ve been in for 7 years, maybe 8, it`s a community gallery in San Clemente, CA. I started out there because they take everybody no matter what level you are at. I was probably over confident back then, some of my art was great, but some really sucked. I mean the colors were too garrish, there were too many black lines, too many brush strokes, dark shapes ran off the canvas, etc...I still hung it because at the time I was desperate to exhibit. Boy the mistakes I have made. But, it`s those mistakes that I can now measure myself against. Now, here I am yesterday looking at how far I have come, I had several people tell me yesterday that they were amazed at my latest entries. They said they can`t believe how much I have improved. They said there was a flurry of activity over my landscape entry. I said, I guess I must`ve sucked before! I laughed, they chuckled, but this one guy said to me, you always were great. That really made me feel good, getting some kudos. Another thing happened this past weekend that made me feel I am getting the buzz starting about my work in an awesome way. I was out painting in the wilderness at a privately owned ranch. When I was about done, several of the docents approached me in their patrol vehicle and gasped at the painting. I stood there in silence and let them walk up to it and say whatever they wanted. I didn`t think it was a doozy yet, but I wasn`t going to ruin there reaction. I could see joy in their eyes and they asked to take pictures of me next to the painting as they commented on how I captured the scenery. It was a moment I felt I "arrived" no fooling myself this time. I have to add a bit more studio work to the painting, but not too much seeing how they loved it. Another pair of hikers saw it that knew me as an artist and they even said it doesn`t need anything. It feels good to be awesome! Even though I stand here and say, wait, I have much more to come.

Fred
via fineartviews.com
Do you think you could elevate the commentary a bit. Adolescent comments like : "do you suck" , or "kick ass" are really disappointing to me.

Cooper
via clintwatson.net
Hey Keith,

Thanks for the mention :)

And about that dividing line: possibly on sunny days we are all awesome, and on cloudy days we all suck?!

Later, Cooper

PS That's the best blog post title I've seen in a long time--thanks for giving us a laugh

Sue Martin
via fineartviews.com
This is a good question and a timely article for me as I have set a goal to branch out this year and find gallery representation beyond the local artists' co-op I've been in for two years. As I thought about it, I realized that the co-op, plus a few other group shows in other galleries, have allowed me to test the market and to actually have a sales record to show when I venture forth. I think your advice to find a gallery roughly in your "league" is very appropriate, which goes back to advice others have offered in these columns about the importance of research before approaching galleries.

Rob Juliano
via clintwatson.net
It takes all kinds Trent. I've met truly great people who are only great out side of closed doors. Behind closed doors they were women beating sleeping pill poppers. I've met intimidating people who are that way because they have huge hearts and feel a need to protect it. I've met strait forward people who crave the truth more than winning with everyone. Again, you are talking conforming. The peaceful everything is okay attitude is the new sheep in the herd. That's why 40,000 new laws were passed in this country just this year alone. And I've never met a great artist who was concerned with offending or trying to put everyone at ease. How about being you and not your idea of what you're supose to be. That is an art. And when we have enough confidence in ourselves has humans we become who we are and no other will EVER be like you. I come across hard in my statements and I read you well. You know why? Because art to me is about freedom of everything which opens the door to possibility. I seek the truth, and discovering personal enlightenment is no different than any other truths. The truth hurts at first with some things. If you are always a peaceful person everyday for years... You're lying. Or you've stopped searching any further in discovering the truth. Transeint art... Just do your thing and believe in it. It NEVER existed on the earth, EVER, until you've made it. You gave birth to something in this world each time you create. Will the world respect it? It depends on the story you portray and how honest you are with yourself every-time you create. That IS THE GOAL. Your masterpiece comes from completely letting it loose. People read it and reaching the right confidence comes in time. The person who wrote this article has the biggest ego of them all.

Trent Gudmundsen
via clintwatson.net
...(just a few thoughts for Rob)...

Keith, the author, is a VERY successful artist. I trust that a large part of his success is his humility. It's also obvious when one looks at his art that he knows what he's talking about ...he's learned from the great master landscape painters of the past and present, and has carefully compared and struggled to get his works to a point where he is regularly happy with the result.

Why try to re-invent the artistic wheel? Nothing we can create is without a foundation from the past; it's all been done before; the only thing we can do is build on what has already been done. Without a standard of comparison (whatever one chooses as his standard), how can we ever know if we've "found our groove" as you mention?

Anyway, your comment itself proves Keith's point very well.

Rob Juliano
via clintwatson.net
Keith's work is popular and successful? Really... Landscape art? Okay, to who? do I see his work in Target and we're selling copies of work for $30.00 in Target popular. Or does he sell his work for thousands of dollars to those who have a true understanding of art. Because most of your comments art sheep responses. You're in it just for the money and to say you're an artist. WOW... has the imagination vanished and we have great xorox copy machines in life.

I don't care if he's very successful.. He's a puts to me for even writing this. He's play you all and that's why he's so successful. Great job Keith.

You see Trent, unlike you I really don't care what your opinion is with me. This doesn't come from ego as you might see it that way. This comes from seeing so many artists conform like you are trying to do. Art students.... Most want to be an artist but become art teachers. that's wonderful, we need that. And you're on your way. What this world need is expression good, bad, natural, happy, sad. LIFE of the living and not sheep who agree with everyone thing and everyone.

Trent Gudmundsen
via clintwatson.net
Truthfully, this is exactly what I love about art: that everyone can have his or her own definition of what art is, and has every right to either accept or reject what's been done before, or what is currently being done. Each of us subscribes to a school of thought, and the fact that our opinions differ is exactly why there are so many types of art out there in the world, and it's exactly why there will continue to be highly unique works created by new artists all the time. Thank you, Rob, for being a true advocate of individuality.

Rob Juliano
via clintwatson.net
Cool.. Now we're talking. And I agree. Let's all create :)

Bruce Ulrich
via fineartviews.com
Excellent points about judging your own work and its possible readiness and or suitableness for a gallery. The balance between cockiness or never thinking any of your work is worthy is a good place to shoot for.

Anne Watson
via fineartviews.com
First off, I love the title of this piece. I just had to read it! :)haha

It's a tricky subject and some of what you write rings true. But this part I don't necessarily agree with, or maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying (especially the last sentence):

"If you don't doubt yourself, you aren't ready! If you consider each of your paintings as great, then you aren't ready! If you think none of them are good, you are almost ready!"

I think we need to trust our own judgment as artists. I spent years doubting my abilities as an artist. It is only lately that I feel confident enough about who I am as an artist to present myself as one. And to say, "this is what I do". And looking back at work that I doubted, I was right--I wasn't ready. But when a painting works, I know it. And everyone doesn't need to love it for it to be a good painting.

So ultimately, I think that if we are truly honest with ourselves, we know if we are ready or not. If we "think none of [our paintings] are good", then, contrary to your article, they probably AREN'T ready for galleries.

Just my 2 cents.

Carol Schmauder
via clintwatson.net
I agree with you Bruce: somewhere between cockiness and not thinking you are worthy is a good place to shoot for. As long as you are trying to improve along the way you are on the right path. Some people are going to love your work and some are not going to care for it no matter what you do.

Poppy Balser
via fineartviews.com
This may make me an art-sheep but I found the ideas of this article validating. I come from a science background. I was trained to measure and question my procedures. I think that this careful scrutiny and, yes, doubt, does lead to improvement in my art. Each of us must find our own path to "awesomeness" but it is nice to see others footprints on that path. Thus I know they have come past the same obtacles and landmarks. I guess that is my art-sheep herd instinct kicking in.

Keith, thanks for the article.

Rob Juliano
via clintwatson.net
Artists, please watch this video. It is what we do and understanding that creativity is not something we think. It's something that exists all around us and we receive it. To be confident in you is what makes your masterpiece. Receiving is better received when we get over ourselves and let it flow. Confidants is discovered after we finally give up and give in. Thought is what keeps us from our best work. Enjoy this video.. It'll change your designs tomorrow. :)

Copy and paste this link to your browser. http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html

Robert Hagberg
via fineartviews.com
Are you good enough? Test yourself. When I took the plunge some 15 years ago and dedicated myself to being a full time painter, in addition to painting I read all kinds of resources regarding painting and becoming an artist. One of the common themes I ran into encouraged entering national competitions. It was some of the best advice I ever followed. After having a few years worth of entries accepted into some of the big national shows, galleries began to open up to me in ways I had never imagined. Yes, you feel vulnerable, and yes you have to learn to deal with disappointment, but it is a great way of seeing how your work stacks up with both some of the best and with those who are up and coming.

Rob Juliano
via clintwatson.net
It is art sheep Keith.. Not a bad thing.. Watch the video.

Jonatthan McPhillips
via clintwatson.net
Rob, I'm confused, but I am likley one o fthe seep with little or no help. Help me out if you can...
"Art isn't measured like everything else is in this world" yet, "ART and science are so common in thought". Huh?

"Let it age over 50 years and I know the numbers will increase" Really? Can you help me pick some lottery numbers? "Know" is a strong word when talking about the future. Almost egotistic.

"Will the world respect it? It depends on the story you portray and how honest you are with yourself every-time you create. That IS THE GOAL"
So you do afterall think it is OK for the "world" to like an individual's art? I thought popularity should not even be a consideration or concern, in fact, by your standards, wide-ranging respect would be coming from sheep, therefore would be harmful to the artist in any case.

"And I've never met a great artist who was concerned with offending or trying to put everyone at ease" Yeah, I've met these people too, but few were great artists. Most were posers, slackers, hide-behinds, adolescents,and frauds. Trying soooo hard not to conform to the "mainstream", that they end up conforming to the drone of the shiftless apathy. Non conformity does NOT equal individuality.

"Keith's work is popular and successful? Really... Landscape art? Okay, to who? do I see his work in Target and we're selling copies of work for $30.00 in Target popular. Or does he sell his work for thousands of dollars to those who have a true understanding of art".
I don't know Kieth personally at all, but a 60 second search will indicate that his work does sell for thousands. But can you tell us if his buyers have a true understanding of art? You must have an assumption of his buyers',( or his herd's), motivation?

Name me a "great" historical artist who did not have at least some monetary interest in his/her work. Or has a great artist who took a paycheck not yet been born to this world?





Suzanne Roberts
via fineartviews.com
Keith, This article is a page from my journal. It seems that every artist struggles with over confidence and lack of confidence. It is a balance the we all struggle with. Thanks for the thought provoking article.
Keep 'em coming!


anne watson
via clintwatson.net
Well, Rob Juliano, you're a bit blunt, but I must say I appreciate that you are stirring the pot a bit. Everyone seems so afraid to step on toes. With your comments it feels more like the passionate art critiques I remember from art school days. Keep 'em coming..... ;)

Sue Martin
via clintwatson.net
Rob, thanks so much for posting the link to Elizabeth Gilbert. I love that notion that we mustn't sit around and wait for the genius to come to us, but instead show up and do our work. My own theory is that the more we do our work, the more likely we'll sense that presence/genius/inspiration, or whatever you want to call it.

Rob Juliano
via clintwatson.net
Just watch the video...:)


Michael Cardosa
via fineartviews.com
Keith,

This is just a really great posting!

It covers a lot of ground and I don't know about other people who read it but it certainly resonates with me. I have the over-confident, suck highs and lows constantly. The highs when I finish the latest painting and the lows usually right after I've come back from a juried show and wonder if I should break my brushes first before tossing them out or just toss them...

You had a throw away line in there about pricing being another posting but I'd really love to hear your take on that as well.

Thanks,

Michael

Janna Kumi
via fineartviews.com
Great title, Keith! It grabbed me, spun me around, smacked me on the head, and then I asked myself the question - Do I Suck? I thought about it for a moment and answered honestly - no - but I'm certainly not an awesome artist either.

I'm past 60, so I know what its like to work hard to achieve a goal. I suffered a major stroke almost five years ago. What kept me going was the thought that I had to regain the use of my right hand so that I could learn to paint. Since then, I've completed the Continuing Studies program at Emily Carr University and am now enrolled in the University of BC's Visual Arts program and still working full time at my 'day' job. The power of setting a goal, and then working systematically towards achieving that goal - that's awesome! And we all can do that if we want it badly enough.

Thanks Keith for letting me comment on your article. I have learned so much from you and all the contributors on this site.

Rob Juliano
via clintwatson.net
Thank you Sue.. my entire intent was just that. Correct me if I'm wrong, but there is no right way or wrong way in expressing. There is only either a you connected or not. My last painting was my best, and for the first time I actually would have bought one of my own...LOL. I like how it flows and the feelings I was looking for. All the other paintings were just a vehicle in getting closer to what I'm trying to express. I showed this one before I finished it and I had someone wanting to buy it... but I wasn't done. They don't like it as much now because what it was reminded him of someone. great, take a picture of that someone. Everything is expanding and never ending in the creative world. I've met people who really want the lifestyle and image of being an artist. They've gone to school for it, dress like it, act weird as if that's the stereo type of an artist. They stand un-confident exposing their work with almost a snooty attitude because they are trying to portray a certain attitude they "think" they should have in being a great artist. Sometimes rejected, sometimes flattered but still don't sell as they wish. Art between the artist and the creation is, and should be, a very passionate exploration into sharing truths.

Stede Barber
via fineartviews.com
I am finding that the confidence comes from inside, from spending time with my and other's art, and being open. When I look at the art I personally am moved by, it is technically beautiful, but also goes beyond and carries an essence with it that stirs me. I notice that, unfortunately, that essence doesn't often come though on websites or magazine pages...the real work of art carries so much with it! I work best in a middle ground...being disgusted with my work because it didn't get where I was trying to go doesn't help me get there...and jumping up and down thinking I've just done inspired work doesn't help either! There's a quieter, heartfelt place for me that helps me to reach a place of deep satisfaction as I work. It's that "balance" point, where I can learn and grow, know when a particular painting is done, and when to keep with it. My own personal experience of learning, joy, frustration, learning to be patient with myself and the process is as important as that moment when a piece is done, and I ask, Is this a painting to offer to others? Sometimes...they are just for me and my creative experience.

Thanks to all for sharing...

Carole Rodrigue
via clintwatson.net
Rob, forgive me if I'm wrong, but perhaps you're missing the point that many of us know exactly what it is we want to achieve from our art. So, when we know we haven't hit the mark, we criticize ourselves, which in my opinion, isn't a bad thing. It makes us take a good hard look at ourselves and what we want to accomplish, and then pushes us to excel. There's nothing wrong with that, and certainly nothing sheepish either. But I will watch the video you posted. And I must say, your brutal honesty has been great for the sake of making each of us think harder and be more honest with ourselves.

Carole Rodrigue
via clintwatson.net
And I do agree about the artists with the snooty attitudes who like to act weird,sit in cafés all day, moaning and groaning about the world. They are indeed wannabees and should be in their studios painting rather than just acting a part. Most successful artists I've ever seen are so normal! No weird gimmicks, no weird attitudes, just normal people. Except in Toronto and a big portion of Canadian arts. I won't go there . . . Hope I didn't stir another pot there.

Nancy Park
via clintwatson.net
Rob Juliano,

I just took the time to watch the video, and I knew it for the truth. I sent the link to several creative people who need to watch it, too, for it is one of the most encouraging things I've ever heard.

Making money is important. It buys groceries. But I don't know how many years I have stubbornly remained an artist even when it didn't pay, simply because the muse wouldn't let me alone.

-- Nancy

Rob Juliano
via clintwatson.net
Yes Carole... For us to take this blog which was asking... do you suck or not... and talking about confidence in ones work. Finding our masterpiece that expresses what we want it to express. We are giving birth to something that never existed until you've created it. It isn't the question of does it suck or not. It is the question of did you find it or not.

Rob Juliano
via clintwatson.net
Nancy, for me personally I have never put my art up for sale until 6 days ago. My life has kept bringing me back to painting again and again for so many reasons. I started as a kid who liked drawing. Then I painted because when I first moved out on my own I couldn't afford the paintings I wanted. WalMart art wasn't doing it for me... LOL Then in time it became my note pads. Times in my life I didn't want to forget. A feeling that was dramatic in my life. Most of them were negative times. I had a great habit of forget the past and how it made me feel.. so I painted it until it gave me that same feeling. It helped me with decisions in my life as to not repeat things. Optimistic minds are great, but I was living it over and over again. Then my paintings became about questions that I started asking myself. Answers I found for myself and didn't know the right words to explain these huge changes in my life. Now I paint because I'm free to paint. It's the only thing no one can tell me how to do. I'm... "free". I can paint anything I want, no rules, no good or bad. Love, passion, freedom, anger, sad, happy... LIFE. Does anyone like it? The last one I painted got a huge response. My freest painting got the highest reviews.

Keith Bond
via clintwatson.net
Wow! To my delight I opened my inbox this evening and saw the flood of comments. I can't reply to you all, but thank you for your comments. There are many wonderful points expressed.

...and I don't mind the bluntness, Rob.

Art is different for each individual. That is the beautiful thing about it. For some it is the journey of exploration. For others it is a means of expression. For some it is something else entirely. For many it is a combination of many things.

For me, I wish to be genuine and truthful to myself and my interpretation of my subjects. But at the same time I wish to master the craft. It is a delicate balance between creating genuine or sincere meaning and being concerned with quality. One can easily destroy the other if you aren't careful.

It is important to stay true to yourself regardless of what others think. But it is also important to be honest with yourself. Regardless of how genuine the expression is, that does not necessarily equate with quality.

To illustrate a point: I genuinely love to sing and play the guitar. I will belt it out and I find great joy and satisfaction. But I suck! I know that. I don't have the talent to be a musician. But if I truly love it and express myself with genuine sincerity and explore my deeper self in music, does that mean I should consider myself anything more than the amateur that I am? Should I claim to be a musician?

What about sports? There are plenty of people who love sports and play with heart and passion, but aren't really that good. The love of sports does not automatically mean you could become a pro.

There is more to art that simply loving it. It is more than just the joy of creating (at least to me). It is a matter of constantly striving to reach new levels of expression and understanding, pushing my own limits.

I realize that art is more subjective than sports. But the principle is the same. Who is to say whether you are good or not? In sports, it becomes evident really quickly. In art, it is harder to determine.

For those who do it simply for the fun and don't aspire to become professional (at art, music, or sport), this article hold less meaning.

But for those who want to pursue art as a career, this article is an attempt to help you ask yourself these hard questions. It isn't fool proof, but rather just ideas to get you thinking.

Whew, I rambled on too long again.

by the way, Rob, it is too late tonight to watch the video, but I do plan to when I get a chance.

Keith

Keith Bond
via clintwatson.net
That response was long enough to have been my next article!

Jonathan McPhillips
via clintwatson.net
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but there is no right way or wrong way in expressing."

Hold On! Rob, sorry to keep pulling quotes on you, but you kicked into this whole thing with the premise that there IS a wrong way...the Author's way!
That is why I have found your points to be meandering and contradictory.
I watched the video. I am extremely fortunate never to have had to overcome such obstacles of negativity. I never found that people were so negative, in fact I have found nothing but support for creativity. Family, friends, acquantances, conservatives, liberals, jerks, saints, have most often in my life held a bit of reverence for whatever my art has been.
I never once encountered an "aren't you afraid of failure" speech. The fact that most artists encounter it is a myth.

In the beginning of the video, she spends an awful lot of time convincing the audience they are have experienced anguish and negativity from others.
I love how overly modest she is and how she plugs the follow up book so subtly. Maybe no one will buy it and she can prove that it truly is only important to her!

We each must find our own path, yes, but if we follow a book, or video,..follow suggestions.. in ANY way, are we not conforming to something afterall?

I'm trying to figure out why you show, and now sell your work, Rob. Why bother? why take somehing so pure and free and subject it to the judgement of others?

There ARE rules no matter how hard you try to avoid them...do you use a canvas? Is it four sided..confining one might say? brushes or twigs...fingers? What about paints? where did they come from? The instance your brush hits the canvas, passion, freedom, love, anger are suddenly tainted by the world we live in.





Michael Slattery
via fineartviews.com
Keith,
I have to say your post hit me right between the eyes. I am a new artist that only started two and a half years ago. The roller coaster ride that an artist goes through is exciting and excruciating at the same time. It is never so exciting as working on the painting that jazzes me up, only to feel the excruciating crush of rejection from a juried exhibit or gallery. I know I am learning, because I look back at those paintings I entered and see them for the amateur pieces that they are. Practice and patience are very hard work. I have a long way to go, but am determined to not suck!

Robin Baratta
via fineartviews.com
This post resonated with me. I've not approached any galleries because I'm convinced my work isn't good enough, despite positive feed back from mentor and peers, and awards won.
Then this a.m. in my in-box was Robert Genn's newsletter with a think positive, and slay the dragons theme. It's almost like the universe is trying to tell all of us who are hiding our light under a bushel, to get ourselves out there and...change the world

Judith Martinez
via fineartviews.com
Hooray !! I'm not crazy to keep on painting when over half of them are disasters and the rest are "not too bad", and even the odd "good one" turns its face to the wall in shame within a couple of weeks. What a strange way to pave the path of hope.......using the cement from my mangled ego to secure my discarded paintings!

Tuva Stephens
via clintwatson.net
I have let your title of your article saturate overnight. For one thing if I have a painting that "sucks", I don't show it. Since I am my own worst critic, I never think a painting is awesome. I do know when it is special and will possibly win awards. By the way I have retrieved discarded paintings and breathed new life into them somehow. These paintings went one to win shows and even sell.
That is always a thrill!

Rob Juliano
via clintwatson.net
Hats off to you Keith, It sparked something in me also. Otherwise I wouldn't have written what I wrote.

I am at a point in my life now where I need to decided if I AM an artist. I've avoided it my entire life because an artist meant to me, broke, weird, lonely, freak....LOL. I was young and full of money motivation to have the finer things in life. I tasted it but always end up back here.... painting.

All my life I've heard from friends and family that my work is amazing. I know for them it was because they know me, and they don't believe they can paint and didn't know I could. Encouragement or truth, this is for me to find out as I narrow down my options in careers with life.

So your article hit the truth, and my snapping back was frustration with that very question. Is it good are do I suck...? I am finally learning that for me it doesn't matter if you like it or not. I've played the game in doing and saying the right things to get a end result in the working world. My art is me, and I may never make it... I don't give a shit anymore.. I'm tried of playing the let's think about it 90 percent of the time. And feel it 10 percent of the time.

My thoughts only confuse me in time. It becomes to hard to live up to our ideas of success. My heart and passion speaks a different language. It isn't rational nor logical. It doesn't need proof before my eyes as humanity pulls out its tap measures to see if it fits into there reality. Sizing up 90 percent of the time... Feeling on 10 percent.

If I could leave one thing on this earth, it would be the balance between logic rational though. And passion, FEEL, in this world and not just a great movie. Believe in the powers that we have de evolutionised from. The true power of the mind and the heart. As life is just a lesson to why we are here. Artists do have the ability to change thought with a new picture, a new angle on life.

Tuva Stephens
via clintwatson.net
Love that last line in your response,Rob. So true.
"Artists do have the ability to change thought with a new picture, a new angle on life."
Rob Juliano
Great quote for any artist!

Jim Williams
via fineartviews.com
Your wisdom and encouragement are received with much respect and enthusiasm. I know a few artists, (myself included), whose myopic view of their work has contributed to the prodigious heap of bad art on the web and in lesser discerning galleries ." Wake up calls"' like yours are encouraging to those of us who wish to grow. Thanks again for taking time away from your creative endeavors to share your views.



Esther J. Williams
via clintwatson.net
I have put a lot of thought into this forum or commentary section over Keith`s article since last night. From reading all the comments it is very clear that the artists here are sincere about being an artist. Their comments provide so much insight on many topics to help us all grow in awareness of each other`s strifes in the artist life. Surely we feel a strong urge to create but as Keith mentioned if we want to be professional or make a living as an artist, then we have to self evaluate.
The goal here is to create a work of art that allows us to project our feelings or expressions balanced with a refined statement of art that in turn evokes an emotive response from the viewer. It`s a balance that many successful artists achieve. Now that`s quality.
I watched the video Rob mentioned. It doesn`t matter where that source of creativity comes from, your beliefs in a divine power or the universe or your soul. You are the one in control of your destiny and energy to make art and it`s up to you to handle your talent and turn it into something worth your while.

Rob Juliano
via clintwatson.net
Evaluating ourselves and our work is a given with the arts. I say let everyone go through there own steps at whatever level. What might be Keith's study in finding what worked for him is totally different than you and I. He gives only suggestions as what worked for him. He found his way through his own journey, there is no set way in art and that was my rebuttal.

Picasso was cocky and did just fine as a artist. That was HIS way. I got involve in this conversation because AGAIN someone has over thought and said how it should be. EVERYTHING in this God forsaken country has rules and this idea that this is the only way. I'm watching more and more of my freedoms vanishing almost daily. This year started off with 40,000 new laws and I'm sure some of them could help. But come on!!! Now we're going to tap into the art world with over thinking and how to make money? Money, money. money... Are you all whores? :).. Do you not have pride in the things that you bring into this world? Where's faith anymore. Where's passion and believing that if you put your heart into it. expressing beyond your profitable ideas.. doing what you love and the money follows. this is what I'm looking for. I'm tired of pimping my life out to a system that collapses time and time again. then I have new guidelines as to a losing game on how to act correctly and be. My heart speaks now and I have faith in it. I've tried the analytical way of life and having a plan all cut out as SO MANY are missing the point. Smart has become a style... Love and passion has become unintelligent and Hollywood. To have no emotions and wear this fake peaceful, spiritual smile I can read through is B.S.. There's a LOT to be upset about as our natural rights are getting swallowed up by cynical left brain people. Now I'm going to see it in the arts. Prying on true artists with hearts and passion and polluting yet another idea with.. here's how you make money.

You're right. In the land of sheepel where the peaceful earth muffin types have become the sheep of now. Behind closed doors they hide the very human nature and show the world nothing but a plain canvas as they walk with thinking they are doing the right things. Hippies collapsed in the 70's and it failed also.

what I;m trying to say in a very round about way...LOL. Forget the money for once in your lives and have faith in the laws of life. Money has become a prison and it controls so much true talent. I simply was motivating those who read Keith's article to not measure your future by his thought provoking blog. It was a good topic.

I went to seminars on how to make money and I became a money making machine. I worked for the seminar business and I became the speakers because I wanted to live like do. I opened my own business and made lots of money. I lived and breathed that business with hope to retire young so I can do what I want.

It wasn't until really tough times came to my business and I went back to my seminars and teachers of money... There were no seminars on how to loose a business due to new laws. No teacher was there when I had to think on my own. good lesson in life... Listen to only YOUR heart and not your empty pocket book.

Carol Schmauder
via clintwatson.net
I agree with you Esther, there have been many great comments on this subject, yours included. Rob, I don't think of myself as a "whore" because I sell my work. The sales of paintings and prints allow me to continue to buy the supplies I need to paint and study more. I think each of us needs to decide how we want to manage our artistic lives in the ways that suit us best.

Sue Martin
via clintwatson.net
In response to Rob's comment from last night....I too discovered accidentally that the paintings that I was most vested in emotionally had the greatest response from viewers. But not all the work I have done since that discovery has had the same connection - with myself or with viewers. So, as the video suggested, I continue to show up and do my work and hope to experience that deep connection as often as possible.

Rob Juliano
via clintwatson.net
Sure.. my statement of being a "whore" is not in the pursuit of selling your art. that just happens when it's right. A whore are those who take something as beautiful as art or making love and find ways to sell it past the the entire purpose for what it is designed for. You can have meaningless sex and buy it for the right price at any major city, or you can dig deeper and chose to believe in the power of passion. It unfolds my friend, I'm living proof of it as you are also.

Yes, there are things we need to know in the common sales of your art. But what if.... and I know it's a very unused statement today. What if your study is past the money and your job as an artist is to show that to people? Would you not paint better? what if you had two years to just paint and everything else was taken care of? Could you now begin to get closer to your design?

The whore I see in many fields of profession are all alike. I don't see the human, I see the quitter. for me.. I would rather die believing in the passions beyond your money, and I may suffer for the rest of my life. Why would anyone want to continue to live in this numbing cynical world? Constantly deflating everyone's potential with the yeah.. But!! Laughing off any passionate feelings with a cynical statement like.. yeah... but I have to buy more supplies.

The world isn't only as you see it and everyone agrees with you. If you know anything about quantum physics and scientifically breaking down your realities. Space and everything around us is abstract with potentiality. This simply means that I'm tired of narcissistic deflating of the passions we ALL deserve. For some reason we have been taught that this is unstable and non-conforming. So even artist are now holding back and just....painting. Don't know if it's sell-able or not. WHO CARES.. And the more we free our abilities from all this tradition, the soon we can design a newer tradition. YOUR tradition.



Michael Cardosa
via clintwatson.net
Keith,

You should be incredibly happy with this article. It seems to have created its own monster!

It could be just me but seems like this posting has gone way off track by the comments being thrown around.

One, after reading Keith's posting I know that I recognize a lot of what he said in myself. I'd venture from some of the comments that many others did as well. If you paint alone, I think it becomes even easier to become an overconfident beginner and be proud of what you did (rightly so) and think it ranks right up there with experienced professionals. If you are exposed to other artists through museums, galleries or the best I believe, a painting group or club you quickly see just how good those other people got while you weren't looking and might even feel a little depressed ( or really depressed depending on how good they are) about how you stack up and that will drive you to be even better.

and yes, when it comes to the business end, you can be nice, but I believe it is a competition because collectors are finite, not infinite...

Cooper
via clintwatson.net
Michael,
You are ever so correct. The original query was are you ready for a gallery, or do you suck? I watched the much lauded video, and sure, it was well done, but it threw the whole conversation way off track. Maybe everybody should concentrate on painting tomorrow?
Cooper

Rob Juliano
via clintwatson.net
Concentrate on painting as if it's a job... No, we're still on track. If this is a job then maybe you shouldn't paint. The video is right no track. It's a rebuttal or a different way of looking at the question of this blog.

It's like a punishment, go paint so you can pay the bills. Like every other uninspiring J.O.B.. I don't paint because I have to. I paint because I want to. And when I paint I don't stop for hours, sometimes 24 hours. I don't force myself to paint either. It might sit for weeks, sometimes months.

I really don't mean to sound so hard and in your face. But the one thing... and only one thing I will be free with in words or paintings is the arts. You, nor anyone will turn this into a J.O.B.. And I know there are a few people out there that get what I'm saying. This is a freedom and a right. It's yours and no one can take that from you.

So, go paint if you feel it. If not, ask better questions to find the paintings answers.

Linda Wilder
via clintwatson.net
You know, Rob...when I paint I concentrate. What do you do when you paint? Think up thinks to be angry about?...and while I'm at it... I can see the 'work' of the people on this blog except yours!

Anne Watson
via clintwatson.net
Hahahahaaaaaahahhhaaaa! Touche, linda.

Trent Gudmundsen
via clintwatson.net
I find it poor logic to say that someone is a sell-out just because they sell. Is it not a wise thing to seek the total freedom of self-expression that a full-time gig as an artist affords? There are plenty of sell-outs, and many of them don't sell anything. There are also plenty of hard-core real artists who may or may not sell their work. Whether someone sells or not, it has no bearing on whether they are independent thinkers or "sheep". What matters is that they're enjoying the creation of their art. If others happen to like it, too, and are willing to part with their hard-earned money, then why is that such a crime?

Sometimes it's the wannabe's who accuse others of being sell-outs. (The accusers want to make money just like them, but they want to do it their own way...and it's not working right now, so what's left to do but to bash all those who believe in the same philosophies as the "sell-out").

Rob, if people here don't seem to be agreeing with your way of expressing your point of view (which comes off as pretty rude at times), I daresay it's because all the accusations with name calling and finger pointing you've supplied don't actually apply to anyone here. I think it's safe to say that most people who subscribe to this blog do so because they are passionate artists; and to sell their works regularly would allow them more freedom to explore their minds and souls.

Basically, I'm just asking you to cut the slander and personal jabs at everyone. You're accusing all of us of being sell-outs, but you've seemingly made no effort to look at our work, read our biographies, look into our selling history, or even ask us any questions.

Besides, the fact that you're trying to change our minds to fit your philosophy is contradictory to your attempt to help us realize our independence as artists...which is pointless anyway; we're already independent thinkers.

Your intentions and philosophies mostly ring true, but your anger towards most of the rest of us is unfounded. You're preaching to the choir, I think.

Rob Juliano
via clintwatson.net
Sure Linda, that's what I do for hours. Angry painter By Robert Juliano...LOL.

Are you truly asking if I paint angry, or did I hit a soft spot with you? I knew someone would say something, I welcome it. Because your response is important to how I paint. So angry.. Grrrrrr... Rour!!! LOL...

Your reaction was typical and I was waiting for it. Now, if you'd like to go further dig deeper and ask better questions. Was it what Rob said that set me off? Or was it something in me that set me off? Hay... It's a start in the passionate realm of life. Welcome to the living :) It comes out hard at first but when you wake up it balances out. Your art will look better because it expresses better. If it's a job for you... quit!



Linda Wilder
via clintwatson.net
Rob...I am so done with you

Well said Trent

Rob Juliano
via clintwatson.net
Trent.. Never called anyone a name. the whore statement is only picked by those who attach themselves to it. this is how it gets turned around. the sheep statement.. same thing. Never called anyone any of these statements in direct. It's a metaphor in conversation.

wow.. some of you sound like business people doing typical business. Go to work, get coffee, pay the bills.. and don't anyone bother me because I think I found my image.

Come on Trent, I really respect peoples opinions and welcome great discussions. I don't expect anyone to agree with me... But you're still not seeing my point yet, and you will. this changed directions because some passion was installed by the original blogger and my jabs as you call it. WHICH in no way they are jabs... You took it that way and so many others did. My point again....

Again, this was never directed at anyone in specific. It just got some of you to really think about this entire topic and look at yourself as an artist a little deeper.

Some will get this.. Most wont. that's the averages thus far in my experience of what I do. Questions...

Anne Watson
via clintwatson.net
Yes, well said, Trent.

Clint Watson
via clintwatson.net
OK - let's keep it civil.

BTW Everyone "Don't feed the trolls"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)



Anne Watson
via clintwatson.net
AND...Keith, good point in your last comment:

"Regardless of how genuine the expression is, that does not necessarily equate with quality."

It's true, with sports, the proof is in the pudding---if you can't hit the ball, you won't make the team. With music, I'd argue that, like art, it can be more subjective. Neither Dylan, Cohen and Waits have "perfect pitch", but no one can argue that they are musical geniuses.

So, yes, I think this last comment of yours could indeed be a whole other article for us to ponder...

Rob Juliano
via clintwatson.net
Okay.. I leave this on a positive note. I see a lot of great talent in here. I would buy some of your art. Take a chance, make some waves, move people with your passion. In art it doesn't "require" words. Challenge the potentiality in this abstract world and catch the feeling whatever it is.

This Blog was great and I enjoyed it. I learned a lot about my own work by expressing thoughts and passion. I thank all of you for putting up with me and may your artistic dreams come to while you sleep and not your never ending thoughts which clouds your truest abilities. Be shy, be cocky, be loud, be quiet. Be contrivance... BE expression and none conforming. The world needs to see your different angles on life NOW. If there was ever a time in our lives to let it out wrong or right.. It is NOW.

I'm asking to see art because your work inspires me when it's inspiring only!!!

Esther J. Williams
via clintwatson.net
Wow Clint, thanks for chiming in with some authority, I was being civil and so was everyone else. We did get invaded by a Troll, that wikipedia description coined him exactly. I left the forum hours ago because the topic Keith discussed became waylaid by him. Gee, what was Keith talking about? Just kidding, I know...hmmm, give me a moment. Have a great evening y`all! i actually got my house cleaned and my Christmas tree taken down by avoiding the turmoil!

Jonathan McPhillips
via clintwatson.net
Rob, please don't consider buying my artwork...I don't need the money THAT bad ; )

Just kidding...I take cash, checks, and credit cards. Let me know which one you want!!!

On a serious note, and back to the original topic, every spring I take 1/2 a day and sand down 30-40 "dud" plein air paintings. I look forward to it every year and my wife thinks I am nuts. It is such a cathartic excercise, and makes the 30 or 40 that end up in galleries or selling that much more special to me. Those "duds" get primed again and given a new chance to become a masterpiece. Are the ones that are sanded down THAT horrible? Not necessarily. But There is no shame in "practice" and not every piece has to be a life changing event. It can be just as simple as practicing a value study. Sure, do it with passion, but it is what it is...a little victory, or maybe a little failure, or neither. Art IS life, not below it, but also certainly not ABOVE it. So keep it real, keep it connected, keep it accessable. But above all, keep your art it in your heart, and certainly let others keep it in theirs if they so wish.
Not a directive, just my point of view.





Charlotte Herczfeld
via fineartviews.com
Thank you, Keith.

What about... Sucking awsomely? :-)

Coming late into commenting on this article, I wonder, what to do when having set standards as high as Monet, and not reaching it? Some paintings of mine have an area that glimmers with awsomeness, the rest is hopefully competent enough, and bits really suck. I guess I need to reach a more consistent output of "good enough" with more "awsomness" sprinkled in, before going to a gallery.

It is a tricky question, and neither overconfident nor underconfident will do. I guess having a trusted and more successful artist evaluate one's work may be one road to take.


Charles Windom
via fineartviews.com
This is a very interesting article, and is something that I struggle with. I do consider myself an amateur artist, but have had artwork in a few local galleries on and off for years. I once approached a gallery in a large city and was told my stuff wasn't good enough. I find it is the same with Art Shows; some will accept you, some won't. Art, like most things, is subjective. We just have to remember to keep striving.

Michael Cardosa
via clintwatson.net
Charles,

Excellent points. For myself, I'll continue to call myself an amateur artist until the day I can make my living solely on my art. That said, I think art in galleries is very subjective and the aspiring artist who is ready just needs to find the right gallery for them and their art... if people didn't have different tastes there would only be one brand of everything!

Diane Tasselmyer
via fineartviews.com
Keith,
Your blog post title was certainly an attention-getter and I was asking myself what will THIS be about????
Whew..what a blessing to find that this creative doubt and angst is normal and shared by many others. It fuels me to go onward and upward, paint paint paint, and stay the course. What a journey this is!

Lee McVey
via fineartviews.com
Initially I had an emotional reaction to the word "suck" in Keith's article. When I taught public school art, I wouldn't let my students use the word. I wanted them to increase their vocabulary. But there are times when the word does make a big point, so I wasn't really offended with Keith's use. Besides, most people pick up slang words as part of their vocabulary a lot faster than I do.

It was a good article. I aim for confidence so I can get my work out there, but I don't want to be overly confident and stop learning and growing. Every time I get to a new level, my satisfaction with that level is short lived, because now my standards are higher and I am striving for a new level. I hope I will always be striving for better than the last painting. And I want to avoid thinking my work sucks.

Bob Matheson
via fineartviews.com
Very interesting topic and comments Keith! I along with many go through the it sucks it is good drama all the time, When I sell a painting I enjoy the recognition that someone found it good enough to part with their money.However as a Plein Aire painter I have a lot of this sucks... But when I nail one I know it right away,the ones that suck can be a little or allot off.Some can be saved many cannot.The challenge is what motivates me I think of great painters like Shiskin, Levitan, Aspevig, koestner, etc as the inspiration for striving to be better, at 54 I am aware of time escaping so I work even harder at it. I have a job so do not need the income from painting but welcome it when it comes. I think that your post provoked some folks to get a little heated,and I think that it is a good thing, I believe that a lot of Artists do not have the skills to be great painters and some do but waste it. The ones I think bring it all are the ones that have skill, vision and Their own style.One only has to look on the net for the copiers of others. Richard Schmid is truly a Great painter, But how many times do you see a imitation of his style. A little off track,In my writing this so I will end with this. If your work sucks try harder, if it is great be humble and be happy that You have achieved what so many of us try to do. Thanks Again, Keith for a great thought inducer.

Donald Smith
via fineartviews.com
Keith,
THANKS! Your comments about how to really look at a gallery and decide if it is the right gallery for you answered a lot of questions I had about choosing a gallery. After reading it, it sounds like good common since advice.
As for the do I suck, or am I great question? Well, unhappily I'm in the middle somewhere. I'm not great, but I would like to think I don't suck. Friends tell me I'm pretty good, but one gallery owner told me I'm still an amature. I wasn't approaching him about showing my art, I told him of a possible commission for one of his artists, and he said I was the first artist to ever send the possibility of work to him. Being nice he asked to see my art and his reply was a confirmation of my own thoughts. I'm just not there yet.
I guess it's time to go back to my easel and practice some, paint more exercises and strive to get better.
I always enjoy reading your comments!
Donald











 

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