Friday, April 9, 2010

About the Labor of Art

I have read and also been told that the shorter the blog, the more likely that it will be read. You would think that short would be easy, but no, not for me. If one is attempting to explain or describe, doing so in few words requires great skill. I beg your forbearance, herewith my first attempt at brevity.

There is the work of art and there is the labor of art. In this case the work is the result of the labor. A long time ago an in-law I was already not fond of made a comment about how easy I had it because I could paint all day. Needless to say, I liked him even less after that comment. Being a full-time artist requires discipline and dedication especially if the artist has to spend time away from her studio to market her work and do all the promotion involved in gaining an audience. In extreme cases she might even resort to writing a blog.

Of course there is also the behind-the-scenes-labor; for the painter there is preparing the surface of canvas or paper to be receptive to the media, investigating and testing materials, writing the "artist's statement", getting the studio in shape for visitors, framing or mounting, washing brushes or cleaning up whatever tools are used. We are not even talking here about the learning it takes to make a painting of any strength. I could go on and on with this rant, but I said brief, so that's all she wrote.

Maya Angelou said: Nothing will work unless you do.

The image above is Madeira ©2008, Acrylic & Mixed Media on Museum Board, 16.5 x 12". For information about any of the paintings on this site, please email Joan.


  1. A favorite quote from Chuck Close, sort of related: Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.

    When I was more of a full-time artist, it drove me crazy when people would tell me how much "fun" it must be.

  2. As I have seen you work over the last 1 1/2 years, the amount of labor that goes into being a artist is unbelievable. In my opinion,you and many other artist follow a passion that burns deep inside your soul to create works that we all can enjoy.