Thursday, December 6, 2012

You Should VS I Could

An Artist gets a lot of unsolicited advice during the course of their career. Lots of it comes from well meaning friends and clientele - some, of course, comes via the 'I know it all' idjits  folks but let's just give them the all powerful brush off for now.
I'm referring to the words that pop up after you post a painting of something that everyone just loves but is so yesterday for you. 
Here's the illustration of my point:

I posted this painting pic to my Facebook page as a new image for the 'header'....'profile pic'....?? (The larger picture whatever it may be titled) some days back. 
This got a huge response from all my FBFs (Facebook friends) who waxed rhapsodic about it with the most used comment being "You should paint more like this!"
Ok and fine, everyone, thanks for the kudos but here's the thing. I was painting like this in 2008. That's 4 years ago. And nothing was selling then. And then again, this was before I had my big 'soul search' and started with painting using the old photos of my Mom that have lead me to where I am today. 
Here's the other 'thing'. 
Everyone  and by that I mean, everyone who paints, out this way paints this kind of subject. 
Yes there is most decidedly the different expressions and styles of each artist that puts an individual spin on their painting - for sure - but without a word of a lie, it's beach, beach with trees/animal/waves/boat - you choose. 
All. The. Same. Thing. 
And I can do that too. I did for a few years. 
But. (ah....the big but)
I am so not excited by this kind of painting. It bores me. It's just too predictable for me. Simply put. 
I love painting my crazy colourful wildly strange ladies. I just do. 
So here lies the dilemma. Obviously people like my 'west coast' stuff out here. And I relish not being just-like-all-the-rest. But (again with the big but) people who don't live here like my ladies. And they are getting me recognition in the bigger cities.
I suppose I could paint those 'west coasties' for here and those 'colorful ladies' for away but is this pandering to the audience or is it just being smart? (don't answer) 
Is this not a crazy way to be an artist?  Is it actually really being an artist, that is true to your soul, and god knows we are all drama queens about that, by being, well, 'two-faced'? Or, let's face it, mercenary?
From what I've observed in the Art World, most Artists get known for a certain 'style'. That becomes instantly recognizable as their own. And this is what you're pushed to discover in Art School or so I'm told. 
I got to say I'm wobbling all over the place with this.

Talk about being roasted over the flames of indecisiveness.....

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