Friday, November 29, 2013
Someone recently commented to me that it is impressive that I've been in business for over ten years. Funny thing is that I never really thought about it in that way. Instead, so often I think I should get my head examined as no sane person would stick it out for this many years! I can't tell you the number of times it occurred to me that I should get a "real" job. But it never takes long for me to discount that idea! One of my favorite movies is called "Shadows in the Sun". I watched it again the other night. There is a great line when the one young writer asks the older writer if all creative people are crazy? The older writer replies "There are thousands of artists and writers. Most of their dreams will never come true...you'd have to be crazy!" So very true!
Don't get me wrong, I have been one of the lucky ones to have actually enjoyed some success! My paintings somehow strike a chord with people and they do sell. This is not the norm for most painters and it is a very unpredictable business. Even though I've had my fair share of the ups I have also experienced the lows. Yesterday I talked to an artist friend from Ontario. He's in his 80's and explained to me "thank goodness I sold that painting or I don't know how I would survive"! Oh my gosh, I can't imagine still saying that when I am 80...talk about longevity! It is true though, there have been those days when the bank account gets so low and then in the eleventh hour someone walks in and buys a painting in the nick of time. This has happened to me a number of times. It is a lifestyle that is certainly not for the faint of heart!
Truth be told, it's not about longevity or sticking it out...it is simply the fact that I can't imagine doing anything else. I really have no choice in the matter. I go through dry spells, yes indeed. I was recently in a dry spell that lasted for what seemed like forever. This year there have been overwhelming personal life changes for me and I am now a different person than I was before. Sometimes I have to step away from the easel for a bit while this new person settles into my being. I have new things to express and then suddenly, the inspiration hits and the paint starts to flow again. When that moment finally comes there is no way to describe what a rush it is! I am a firm believer that inspiration would not hit if I forced myself to sit in front of the easel on a daily basis. It's important to be in the zone!
Another reason for my longevity is my support system. I could not do what I do without the support of my family, my friends and my customers. The thought of letting down all the people that have supported me through these years makes me shudder. I have sold many paintings and it never ceases to amaze me that people will hand over their hard earned money to me for doing something that I love to do. I am honoured by that and will never take it for granted. I consider my painting to be a gift and for some reason what I do tends to make people happy. How could I possibly make the decision not to paint? This is not my choice to make! There is a saying "do what you love and love what you do". I guess this applies to me!