Sunday, October 26, 2014

Art is a Jealous Mistress

Art is a jealous mistress, and if a man have a genius for painting, poetry, music, architecture or philosophy, he makes a bad husband and an ill provider, and should be wise in season and not fetter himself with duties which will embitter his days and spoil him for his proper work.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

OK -- I hope I'm not THAT bad. But the first five words of Emerson's brief observation certainly rings true with me.

If one is really serious about art and trying to make each work the best work one he/she ever done, it must be practiced a LOT. One must give up everything to be an artist -- or so I've heard. An artist can't become good in his/her craft by taking the casual approach.
But then there's this: Matthew 6:24 (KJV) -- No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (My emphasis).

Mammon, in this case, is a reference to money, but it can be anything that becomes #1 in our lives. I don't think art comes before God in my life, but it is pretty important, save for those times when I feel fed-up with art and the art world.

And then there's the issue of trying to sell art -- another entire source of stress and frustration. Whether paintings sell or not, I have to keep working -- either to replace the items that sold, or trying to find paintings that people are willing to buy.

I've also learned that selling art is not as simple as "paint what they like and they'll buy it." Having a "following" -- a certain amount of fame -- tends to be a major component of an artist's success. This has been a little out of my reach, unfortunately. And in some cases, painting in the current trend of decorator colors -- matching the sofa -- is important, too. When you paint in a classical way as I like to do, color matching has nothing to do with it. But try convincing decor-orientated buyers of that!

So in short -- art has taken over my life, but I almost can't afford to do it anymore. Art is a jealous mistress. One must give up everything to be an artist.

That includes any semblance of financial stability and, perhaps, sanity!

Mt. San Jacinto,Palm Springs,hawk,sand dunes,art

By the way -- these paintings are available for purchase at Crystal Fantasy in Palm Springs, CA. Stop by or contact them soon. Don't wait too long!

No comments: