Thursday, 19 August 2010

How Do You Know If You Are An Artist?

I am sure I am not alone in asking myself why it is that I feel the need to paint. I have had a real dry period in terms of sales having sold very little for some time. I have painted and repainted a number of canvas. I have questioned and questioned why I keep trying when I see so many who are better than me. Yet try as much as I can I still seem to want to create.

I have taken out a membership of the National Galleries of Scotland. This allows me unlimited access to all exhibitions for a year. My thinking was that if I saw real artists work I would happily admit I will never be like them and just enjoy the art of others. The opposite seems to be the case, the more you see the more you wish to create.

So To lighten my mood I have been thinking of some of the crazy things that I have done since I began this painting. When I make a list of them it is so long I would not bore you with them all. But today I thought I had been making fun of teachers for long enough. So, a reality check. How many of you can relate to any of the following. I thought I would list possibly ten of the silly things I have done. I would suspect if you can say yes to five of them you must be as mad as me.

1. When somebody mentions the beautiful sky you tell them the different shades of blue.

2. You find yourself dipping your brush in your coffee.

3. The tints in you hair were not there earlier and you have not been to the hairdresser.

4. The colour of your car is as important as the engine.

5. You are late for an important appointment because just as you were about to leave you realised what that painting needed done to it.

6. Your friends ask you about the new trend in painted jeans.

7. You buy lots of books and most of them have blank pages.

8. You chose a Russian Sable rather than an ale and a full English breakfast.

9. You throw your palette knife in the coffee.

10. There are Prussian blue fingerprints on your cell phone and pen and wallet and glasses case and almost everything you own.

It is when painting consumes your daily thinking. I think then you can safely say you are an artist.

But beware, there is a great little tale of the two friends. Bill and Tom. Tom had just broken up from a long term relationship. he was of course feeling down. Bill agreed to organise a blind date for him.

On meeting after the date Tom shouted at Bill him angrily: "Bill, what kind of a guy do you think I am. That girl you fixed me up with was cross-eyed; she was almost bald; her nose was long, thin and crooked; she had hair growing on her face; she was flat chested; and her ankles were as thick as her thighs".

Bill answered: "Either you like Picasso, or you don't like Picasso."

I hope the paint goes with you today. I am off to make another coffee there seems to be something floating on top of this one.

This blog is linked to my other. Stormy Days


  1. You must be an artist then.

  2. Alas, I wish I got the Picasso joke! (I hate when I'm slow on the uptake...)

  3. Too funny ; )
    Ralph, if you feel the need to create, create! There is no special club - it is open to all ; ) Most often when I am feeling dissatisfied it is because I need to make a learning jump. Why not enroll in some painting classes? Perhaps some new instruction is just the infusion you need!
    Have a great day ; )

  4. Ralph, might you drink too much coffee? lol very cute post. I hate to admit, you are not alone with your plight.

    As for myself, If I bring anything hot to drink near my canvas, its instantly forgotten. I get so lost and wrapped up in my work, that I find it later completely cold. Nothing dropped in it. Its as thought it left my mind completely that I was thirsty...

  5. Ralph, I think we are not creating just to be judged by others. So it is ok if what we create is not good for others as long as it makes you happy and keeps you sane! There are millions better than us, so what.. it is better to create something you feel like creating than taking a deep sigh at wonderful works of art and doing nothing :-)
    I am with number 10 and my face is covered with paint at any given point of time than with any makeup!

  6. Another wonderful post! I love your painting. The joy is in the doing after all.
    Thank you!

  7. Hi - I've done all except number eight, and it would be supper for me. My color is indigo rather than prussian blue. My car ... fingerprints from location painting ... it's 11 years old and a mess but it runs and I own it. Don't have to worry about any new markings. We put our energy into our creations, and share it with the world. We also make a connection with people that view our work. I do believe that's the bottom line. Connections, common threads, I'm sure you can fill in the rest. Create with joy, sadness, or create to create. IT'S ALL GOOD!

  8. PS - You're an artist - never doubt it. Both visually and verbally. Best, JRW