In spite of not painting all last week, I have been busy with art related stuff. The best part of the week was visiting with my art friend, Joan. Besides the fact that she is WONDERFUL, we can talk "art" for hours....and did. It was incredibly refreshing for my soul to have her here, and she was especially gracious to stay and visit considering that the downstairs a/c is on the blink. It was 84 degrees in the cool part of the house when she left. Sorry about that, Joan.
Believe it or not, I consider reading (and since it's art, looking at pictures) part of my continuing art education. And because it's been so hot downstairs, I've taken the opportunity to "read" (look at pictures) upstairs where the a/c works just fine. (Why didn't I think to take Joan upstairs for our visit? Oh, right, the bedroom was messy.) For the first time ever, I learned about (in American Art Review) and fell in love with an artist's work, by the name of Robert Henri. In particular, I like his portraits of Irish children. The portraits were painted toward the end of his career and are poignant and beautifully rendered; not too fussy, but not too loose, either. Beautiful.
I also read an article in Professional Artist magazine by Jack White about earned success. He states, "Earned success is when you do something to the best of your ability and are pleased with the results." It is very easy, as an artist, any profession really, to get caught up in the amount of money one makes or awards received. Not that there's anything wrong with achievements. Plus, awards are huge confidence builders. And Lord knows without commissions I'd have a hard time paying for paints and canvases. But "art" is so subjective that to spend too much energy worrying about every professional rejection would be foolish. So, in this instance, have I painted to the best of my ability, and am I pleased with the finished painting? More and more, the answers to those questions is YES. In fact, I'm so confident that I'm on the right track with my painting that a recent professional rejection hardly stung at all, (though it is a little hard to admit it to you, gentle reader.)