Thursday, June 6, 2013

Friday: More on the Passion for painting...

Here is the mostly (deja vue) finalized self portrait.   Once again I'm limited in time so I have to scribble down this entry and run.
Lately I'm wondering how committed I actually am to my art.  I'll let a painting sit for weeks without doing much of anything to it, even though I feel drawn to act.  I think at this point a full time artist would classify me as a hobbyist.  It is probably not fair to those who work every day of their lives to create works of art if I call myself an Artist.  But I will admit that I do consider myself an artist...only I am not full time.  This is  somewhat like golf, which by the way has been competing for my time.  I am a golfer, but I don't spend every day golfing.
 Some people spend their entire lives devoted to creating fine works of art without regard to fame or money. They have a passion for it.  They are driven towards the goal of creating something great.
I don't see myself as ever making the jump to the "devotion at all costs status".  Firstly,  I need a certain amount of money to be comfortable.  Not a lot, but enough to pay bills, feed myself and do what I want without a ton of worry.  I decided this years ago.  I did not like the idea of being a starving artist.  The bitter, melancholy type who spurns the "dominant paradigm". Secondly, I like doing other things with my time.  I like having variety in my life.  That includes ridiculous things like chasing a little white ball around a well- groomed pasture and knocking it into a little hole.
Ultimately, my goal is to become a full-time artist  when I retire.  I know creating art is in my blood.  And that need to create will never go away.  I have been given that gift and I can't squander it.
   So even though I haven't been acting on my instincts to paint lately, they are there. They are there every morning when I wake up and every night when I go to bed.
So I am asking myself today.  Does this instinct qualify as passion if I don't find time to act on it?  And at this point, looking at the question typed out in front of me, the answer I hear  And the word 'squander' pops into my head.  More later.
What, this again?  About time...
So here it is Friday, a day after that above post.  I want to be clear that I wasn't looking for encouragement or advice when I posted that information, although I do appreciate those things.
Years ago I had a problem getting to work on time.  I would get there and tell my friend and co-worker why I was late and apologize.  Finally one day he said something  that has stuck with me to this day.  "Kevin, I don't want to hear any of your bull-s--t excuses".  We are friends to this day.  It took me awhile to come around, but I eventually figured out how to get to work on time.
Years before, someone used the old expression "excuses are like (you know whats), everyone has one".  That has also stuck with me.  No one really wants to hear your excuses.  Either do it or don't.
I know that I procrastinate.  I get easily side-tracked.  So when I looked at the painting yesterday, I had to be honest with myself.  Why has it taken so long to finish this?  Yes, it was important to take my time, but I could have had this done weeks ago had I set aside a small amount of time.  So I have to evaluate how much time I have to dedicate to what I love doing.  Because no one knows how much time is left.  And I have many more paintings left to do.
Some of  the concerns I have when I do have the opportunity to paint full-time.  Will it dog me?  Will I feel pressed to get something done? How can I schedule my creativity?  I don't want this to feel like a job. 
That's enough for today.  I have to start the next painting.


  1. Kevin, this is a thoughtful post and the portrait resonates with these thoughts. Pensive, concerned, a big afraid or worried - your portrait has all of these emotions in it. Perhaps it is telling the story of your inner struggle as well as your words. So few people can afford to be full time working artists. For those of us who cannot or have chosen to walk a different path, it makes our art no less challenging and demanding and beautiful.

    1. Thank you RH. I got up yesterday and just started writing what I felt. I wasn't trying to dig for advice or encouragement, although I do appreciate those things. I have been thinking about how dedicated I am to my art. A lot of that has to do with mortality. How many more paintings do I have time for? I know that my best is yet to come, as with most artists. This painting makes me want to move forward with others. I wrote more today about the inner struggle.

  2. Typing on the iPad sucks - too many typos that often are not my fault! I meant "a bit afraid", not a big afraid!

    1. I finally figured out how to type in my phone, but it insists on using words I don't want like your I pad does. I envision a comedy sketch where the phone keeps insisting on saying things you don't want to say and refuses to send until the person uses the suggested words.

  3. well, if you are able to paint like this when you are a "part time" artist, I say don't sweat it. Just keep doing what you are doing. I don't think there is anything wrong with being and artist AND a golfer. Keep doing as you are doing.
    Beautiful portrait, btw.

    1. Thanks again Celeste, and as I said, I wasn't fishing for encouragement or advice, but I do appreciate them. I have to evaluate how I spend my time on painting... I added more to the post today to explain.

  4. Hi Kevin,
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post(s). Reminded me of me. Here I sit in relative Paradise and have hardly taken up a brush since we've lived here. It bothers me a little, but like you, I enjoy a whole lot of things, besides painting. I'm not worrying about it too much, however, as all of my current, "beat the clock" energy is devoted to doing things here which require some level of physical know...surfing, (trying to, anyway) travel-jogs around town and attending every festival and event we've never seen before.
    Part of why I'm able to overcome the angst about painting, is the fact that I've already had a pretty good run at it. That success, though limited, gives me the psychological "breathing room" to take some time off. I'd hate to have a heart attack or stroke and not have tried some the things unique to Hawaii while I was healthy. As you so aptly pointed out, we don't know how long we have on this planet and that fact motivates me to get out there and do stuff.
    Soon, I expect the drive to see and do will give way to a return to the studio and maybe a more calm approach to the art. Also like you, I'm haunted by being lazy and unproductive many days. Or uninspired or scared or there's a great old movie on Turner Classic get the idea.
    Anyway, I most certainly appreciate your sharing how you feel with us out here in the blog-o-sphere. Tells us, and me, I'm not alone. And that's a good thing!
    Have a great day tomorrow, filled with variety and maybe even some golf!

  5. Thanks Gary. It does help to read your blog as well. When you talk about those same struggles with time and inspiration it does help. They never really match up, time and inspiration. But I think realizing that one has more inspiration than time is really a blessing. This means we are living life. Imagine if you lived every day not wanting to do anything.
    Your portfolio is impressive. And even though I wait to see what you'll paint next, I completely understand that drive to experience the trappings of living in the tropics. I know I would do the same. By the way, all the time I have spent on the course did pay off last weekend when I won a tournament with a personal best score of 73 (yes, that was my GROSS score). I had both Gross and Net best scores in a field of 105 players. One more tally off the bucket list.