The other day I returned a phone call to one of my artist friends. I met this friend online years ago at a website I visit a lot composed of mainly artists showing their work to each other for critique. We eventually met at a plein air event down in Temecula, CA. I met two other artists down at that show who I've also kept in touch with. I can't stress how important it is to have artist friends to talk with from time to time....they are worth their weight in gold.
My friend and I talked about a host of things that night. Him and I are going through so many similar things in our careers. It is good to know I'm not the only one thinking the same things that an artist can think of....and you have plenty of time to think about these issues when you are painting....or when you are awake for that matter! One of the topics we talked about was do we really see our work as we see it. Think of it....when I started out painting like most it was horrible stuff. After a while the paintings got better. I started thinking to myself after long hard looks..."hey, that looks good". I look at my work now and say "hey, that looks good". A week or so ago I was reorganizing my old painting storage area and pulled out a lot of the old paintings. They look horrible to me now! This then brings up the question...is what I see now actually good or do things appear good to you just because they are in the present time. If so, a year from now my current work will look horrible to me. Maybe the mind does this to you to keep you from killing youself over current reality.
There has to be something to seeing in the present time. I used to absolutely love a lot of the work of certain artists years ago. Recently I've gone back to enjoy these pieces again but found myself not as thrilled with them as I once was. Same paintings but a more dulled sense of enjoyment. Could be that I have looked at these works a hundred times...sort of like taking another bite of your favorite candy bar...one day you buy a different candy bar to shake it up. New art by these artists sometimes works but sometimes the artists go into different directions....sort of like the candy bar company changing the ingredients...uh oh.
Anyway, I'm guessing the mind has some sort of plan that I don't understand so I won't pretend to make up an answer for it.
Right after that call I received an email from one of the other artist friends I met in Temecula. We had a great swapping of emails regarding the fun and agony of getting into shows or art clubs. There are so many stories to be told of all of that mess and we had a great time sharing our experiences. I felt better. It's not all just happening to me, haha. It is good to have friends to talk with who can feel your pain and joy because they too are going through it. I've met some wonderful people through art. Painters, guild members, the people who buy the work and the ones who just love it but really can't afford it yet. I try to talk with them all as much as possible and enjoy the feedback and sharing of ideas and knowledge.
When I was younger and still growing up creating art was a lonely thing. You sat in your room drawing or at the dinner table when all were outside. People didn't bother you because you were "creating". Of course back then you didn't have the pressure that you do once you get older and are more serious about it. Art is a serious thing, it isn't just happily painting away without a care in the world. Creating art now is many things but it is not a carefree hobby anymore. Having art friends who you can call, write or visit with to talk shop is like a big relief valve to lesson the pressure and bring a smile back to your face.