The other day Ethan Azarian came over. He is an established and well loved painter here in Austin TX and you can see his work here: http://www.ethanazarian.net. I told him about the blog & how I don’t like to sell art. He chuckled and said, Oh, really? I do. This wonderfully upfront and true sentiment made me smile, and I agreed that money is nice, but explained that the process leading up to the sale wasn’t enjoyable to me. I went on to say that I also don’t have a recognizable style and am not too interested in pursuing a theme for an extended period of time. Ethan related that it took him ten years to find a style that he could settle into, and asked how long I had been painting. Well…a long time. I graduated in 2003 with a BFA from The University of North Carolina Greensboro, and always knew I wanted to make art.
He went on to ask if I paint everyday? No, I don’t…and I experienced a little unwelcome moment of nagging guilt at my own perceived lack of discipline. But why? I never have been a “disciplined” artist. In school we had to keep these daily sketchbooks and I hated doing that. I would procrastinate and then do a whole handful before class, understanding why, logically, it was a good practice but just not feeling the scheduled, forced exercise of something worked better when it was free. I thought about all the reasons and attitudes that turned art making into drudgery for me, and realize that some of these same reasons could be holding me back from one version of success.
In the end, I will make, and glady take, my own version. I just want to enjoy making the art and then have it seen. And that’s cool. It’s actually fucking awesome because it took me awhile and some heartache to figure that out but now the work is how it should be again. Free. WIN!
So today I offer you Bougainvilleas, a 12” x 12” mixed media image in birch. Contact me and tell me what in your life makes you feel successful. Or unsuccessful. Or what you think of giving away art. Or anything you damn well please. Be free, people. In a week I will pick an entry and send someone this art. Because I love you.
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