Monday, November 09, 2020

Fish in the Sea


Click Here to Bid (3x5in. - GOUACHE on 24-ply illustration board - bidding starts at $75)

I started painting and posting (almost) daily 14 years ago, and it has been wonderful for my career, in so many ways. Painting daily improved my skills quickly and ... a lot. Getting my work out there regularly boosted sales and prompted others to invite me to teach and write books. Etc. I recommend it to ANY aspiring artist!

But I've learned that the creative spirit (mine, anyway) is a delicate one, and must be handled with care. I am not a machine who can crank out endless ... well, anything. In order for me to remain sane and happy, I must follow what is in my heart, which is always evolving. Unfortunately this does not always coincide with making money. So art is a tough career choice if you want to be happy and rich!! Also, posting daily and being in the public eye - it can be tough to make changes, even little ones, because people will tell you what they think, and it does not often align with what's in the heart. And for sensitive people (like me), the pressure from that can be ... quite uncomfortable.

So I had to take a break. And while I wasn't posting, I was most definitely creating. I have played and experimented with many of the ideas that have popped into my head over the years. I call it "chasing butterflies," in that I have allowed myself to follow any idea, anywhere, until it ran out or I got bored, and then I chase a new butterfly. It has been a wonderful. And a roller-coaster. Most of it no one will ever see. But I got so much out of it!

What have I learned so far? In general, two things:

1. I need variety to keep me interested and challenged. I've always painted a variety of subjects, but going forward I want to avoid only painting things that I think will sell, and I want to experiment with all kinds of mediums and subjects. Even if it never goes anywhere.

2. The unknown is scary but exhilarating. I've always avoided the things that scare me, but lately I've been diving in head first and some amazing things have come from it - things I never could have done on purpose! I want to do lots more of that.

So, while I'll be posting again, whenever I think you might be interested in something, I will continue to chase those butterflies. Because that's what makes me happy. Thank you all for your support!


silentwitness said...

Love your painting! Everything about it. If the dance of these lively fish grows from your chasing butterflies, I'm so glad you are chasing! Lucky for me, one of the few national painting workshops I participated in was yours! I feel so blessed to have learned from you, and painted with a fabulous group of artist-students. Just wanted you to know that I heard very similar words from a lecture by another fabulous artist-instructor, Stephen Quiller. Maybe if you are extremely proficient in capturing the essence of a particular genre and it resonates deeply with the souls of your fans, some of them are upset if you wish to stray to other themes. It's their problem, not yours. You will always have a huge host of admirers and collectors, I have no doubt. I wish you much continued success as you keep exploring, experimenting, and enjoying the journey.

Linda Gardiner said...

Your post is so thoughtful & thought provoking. Thank you for putting words to feelings many of us are having. Soundsl like you are taking good care of yourself. Kudos.

Unknown said...

Glad to see you back again....loved your gouache paintings and hope you stay well and are happy'

Dell Eddins said...

You go Girl! said...

Great post of truthful words every artist should take to heart. Thanks Carol. said...

HI Carol,

I'm glad you are handling your creative spirit with care. You have given so much to the art community -- classes, amazingly wonderful paintings, and, with David, DPW. I'm regularly awed by your paintings. Watching you pick up gouache has been a treat. Your painting "the friendly face" shows how you've exploited the wonders of gouache.

Thank you for all you have given the to art community.

Stay safe,

Mary Anne Cary said...

I so get the chasing butterflies!!! Wait until you're old like me, then you really say "what the heck" I am doing this! Who cares if it's a disaster!! Keep chasing, but don't bring a net...

Sarmed Mirza said...

What a wonderful post. I had been wondering where you were and a bit concerned too. That must be the sentiment of lots of your fans. Loving your paintings and so excited about the unknown you are facing and will bring to us.

Would love to see your dead ends as well, I think they teach a lot about the artistic process and how new paths can be explored, it can validate and inspire so many of your followers.

Oh I have a gouache set sitting unopened for ages. I guess it's time to unwrap :)