Friday, June 11, 2010

About Being an Artist

Calling oneself an artist seems to me a little presumptuous. I don’t usually object when I’m named so but I’d rather call myself a painter or something along that line. Plumbers and carpenters are about what they do. M.D’s and architects have their diplomas. But an artist?

Some who are called artists have studied, others have not. I have an opinion (not unusual): I believe an artist is one who works at it. Those who call themselves artists and say they have to “get back to it” are fooling themselves. I know; I stopped painting for a long time. I was raising my children and teaching. I was a mother and a teacher. And in spite of the fact that I hold a degree in the fine arts there was no way I could call myself an artist.

So I suppose (here’s more opinion), I think it has to be earned. Not by any measure of success but by hanging with it through all the vicissitudes that are common to the path.

The image above is Geranium ©2006, Acrylic & Mixed Media Collage on Archival Board, 9 x 30". For information about any of the paintings on this site, please email Joan.

Andy Warhol - “An artist is somebody who produces things that people don't need to have.”

Ben Shahn: “An amateur is an artist who supports himself with outside jobs which enable him to work. A professional is someone whose wife works to enable him to paint.”

My dictionary — “a person who produces paintings or drawings as a profession or hobby.” I find this too limiting in scope and “hobby” has no place there.

No comments:

Post a Comment