Why I am Obsessed with Artists

“Patrick, why are you so obsessed with artists and their creativity?”

I’ve been asked that question a fair amount during my years as an artist’s advocate and a creativity and writing instructor. There is no simple answer to that question, but if the top five answers were on the board, one of them likely would be perseverance.

I do not mean to disparage artists with this statement of fact, but when it comes to art–visual art, music, videography, writing, sculpture, jewelry, etc.–anyone can produce it. Yet the artists I’ve crossed paths with, through this blog and in my professional and personal lives, are the ones with the perseverance to grow their craft and get their art in places where it can be appreciated.

A charming stretch of Fells Point rowhouses just north of Baltimore's Steven Scott Gallery.

A charming stretch of Fells Point rowhouses just north of Baltimore’s Steven Scott Gallery.

On a weekend getaway to Baltimore last weekend my wife and I stopped by the Steven Scott Gallery in the historic Fells Point district. I was admiring some stunning photographs by Amy Lamb, imagining that perhaps some day my photographer daughter Marisa might be displayed there, when I overheard a young man talking to the gentleman behind the counter. Naturally I eavesdropped. The young man was an artist looking to have his works displayed. When asked, the gentleman acknowledged he was the owner–“That’s my name on the sign outside”–but politely explained he wasn’t looking to take on more artists right now. It was a polite but firm rejection. The young artist nodded and returned to taking in the gallery’s art.

I approached Mr. Scott and started a conversation. I learned that all of the artists currently on display were a bit older than the young man I had just seen. The youngest, Mr. Scott speculated, was likely in her mid-fifties. Mr. Scott founded the gallery about twenty-five years ago and had usually represented artists older than him; he admitted that continuing that pattern might be skewing his average artist age older. But the art in his gallery didn’t say “older.” It said instead that it was produced by serious artists who have taken the time to grow their craft and find a partner like Steven Scott. In other words, the works demonstrated perseverance.

Later that night we had a couple of Loose Cannon IPAs at the Cat’s Eye Pub and took in a great show by an Annapolis-based band called Sweet Leda. We had never heard of them before, but I have a weakness for fiery blues women backed by brass, so it turned out I was in my element. Julie Cymek’s vocals wailed with angst and passion, and Ron Holloway’s tenor sax blistered the crowd with haunting precision. I was in the presence of talented and skilled musicians, and after their first set I bought two CDs, one for me and one to share with someone I feel would appreciate it (I’m still deciding that one).

Reading the liner notes the next morning I learned they had recorded the CD in 2012. I had just heard them two years later playing a bar about thirty minutes from their home, one they will be playing again in May. I’m sure they all hoped that their album would lead them to be “discovered” and before they knew it they’d be rocking out on Saturday Night Live. But for now they’re doing what they need to do, playing gigs and growing as musicians. And they are definitely proactive; that saxophonist I liked so much actually plays for a different band, but the bass player Saturday night kept boasting about how they were stealing him. Good move.

It’s possible that the young man I heard inquiring about gallery space will never become a famous artist. It’s possible Julie Cymek will never reach the level of a highly successful blues woman she reminds me of, Susan Tedeschi. But they are out there, producing art and being seen. They are demonstrating perseverance.

On our way to Baltimore's Walters Art Museum, which is bursting with works resulting from perseverance.

On our way to Baltimore’s Walters Art Museum, which is bursting with works resulting from perseverance.

Why do I find perseverance in every artist I meet? An artist who abandons perseverance can’t be found.ย When I drove across the United States interviewing artists about their creativity, I wondered if I had a skewed sample, because I had found all of them through their art. In some way, it was out there, whether advertised on a gallery’s web site or self-produced. But as that trip made me realize I needed to return to an art-committed life, I decided it was okay that my sample was skewed toward artists who were able to be found as a result of their perseverance. That was something I could learn from them.

I’m in a bit of a dry spell right now when it comes to publishing of my creative writing. Twice in my adult life I walked away from writing when that happened. I’m determined not to this time. There will be no future returns to the path of an art-committed life, because I will not leave it a third time. But perseverance isn’t easy. So I am recharging my batteries by finding inspiration in that young man in the museum and in that talented blues band I heard in Fells Point.

What do you do to maintain your perseverance?

About Patrick Ross

I'm the author of Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road.

75 Responses to “Why I am Obsessed with Artists”

  1. As the Minnesota winter is finally ending, I’ve realized that even my perseverance is tapped out. All I can do is appreciate, as you have, other people’s artistry – a lot of reading, listening to music and some museum visits. It serves as a fallow time for greater productivity down the road. Rationalization by any other name…

    • Michelle, I stole the phrase “art-committed life” from creativity consultant Eric Maisel. He also discusses people who live an art-filled life, one in which they actively appreciate art (like I did last weekend). The good news is the step back from an art-filled life to an art-committed life is a very short one. And there’s nothing wrong with allowing your creative energy to recover; for most of us it is not a constant flow like a river but more of a tide like an ocean.

  2. My current perseverance is all about survival and ultimately thriving in the face of my fiance’s death, losing our home, all of our money, most of our possessions and somehow getting back up on my feet. I’m in school, I’m somehow finding funding to do it, I’m earning a certificate to supplement my degree so I can get back out into the work force. I am working a crazy amount of hours to make that happen. In the meantime, I’m taking on my well being the best I can – doing cardio 5 hours a week and yoga another 5 hours. Lost 50+ pounds. Sleep is at a premium but I am doing everything I can to keep my health up in spite of that. In the midst of it all, I have met someone who I enjoy, and make time for that budding possibility (as my fiance told me he would want me to do should he ever die before me).

    My perseverance looks like getting back to my homework after this brief little break – it is 5:08 a.m., I have an assignment and a half, plus a quiz to take before I can sleep today (all due by 11 am.). And oh, no, I have not forgotten about my art. I just need a second to breathe, and regroup – then I will be working it back in. But now, it is about survival. Food and a roof over ones head, clothing on your back – when you are needing those things, when they become a premium – suddenly everything else falls away. But I’ll get back to it in some form. As my friend said, I’m on sabbatical. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Amy, my struggles with writing and publishing pale in comparison to this. On Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I’m struggling with self-actualization and you’re back to basics like shelter and health. (Kudos on the weight loss and healthy living, by the way.) I’ve been off Facebook for awhile (I wrote about this recently) so I’m sorry I’ve been missing your posts. I would have liked to have been there for you in that form during all of this.

      All, I interviewed Amy on my cross-country road trip. She is a visual artist and writer who was–and is–an inspiration to me.

      • kudos to Amy and cheers to keep going!

        • Amy, I second all that’s been said. I’ve found that some people are naturally resilient. I know I am, and obviously you are, and then there are those whose resiliency is in slower motion (perhaps you, Patrick?). The key is TO bounce back๐Ÿ™‚ Whatever it is that drives us to strive—hang onto it for dear life๐Ÿ˜€

          Now, that’s not to say I haven’t had times when I’ve thought my efforts are a waste of time and I’m wrong about my potential as a writer/illustrator, but I don’t allow it take hold of me. I’ve had to be resilient for many different reasons in many facets of my life for decades, so when I get knocked down, I feel it more and it’s harder to get up. Yes, it does take longer to bounce back than it used to (the rubberband is drying out a bit), but I shock myself when I’m still able to do it.

          Keep at it, everyone! Great post Persevering Patrick๐Ÿ˜€

      • Patrick, it is o.k. – thank you for that thought but there are many distractions on Facebook and it is likely a good thing that you are not letting yourself get sucked in.

        And that is so sweet that you are inspired by me. I’m just lil’ ol’ me, doing what I need to do to get through life and live my dreams as best I can. You, my friend, are kicking a** and taking names. Climbing the long climb, taking the long haul up the road of fulfillment and full self-expression. And if you hadn’t noticed, you are an inspiration yourself. ๐Ÿ˜€

        Now, back to work . . . (5:15 a.m. and still plugging!)

    • charlotterainsdixon Reply March 12, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      Amy, hang in there! It sounds like you’ve been handed a raw deal, but also that you’re dealing with it with grace and dignity. I’m cheering you on!

    • Holy moley, if anyone personifies perseverance it’s you, Amy. I’m so sorry you’ve been through so much, but heck, what a driving force you are when it comes to bouncing back! Which means you’ll never ‘lose’ your creativity, no matter how long your sabbatical. It’s just sleeping… dreaming. Ready to burst with new ideas once you’re in the right place to come back to it.

      Big hugs

  3. Patrick this is a provocative post and I am eager to read the comments, they will be helpful I’m sure. Perseverance is sometimes a confusing beast. I think it can be mistaken for,perhaps following a weight loss programme – losing weight – and then after a period of time putting the same weight back on. Ultimately there is time,effort and emotion put in just to come to nothing. Perseverance for me is living a desire that is as natural as breathing. Sometimes we breathe softly and sometimes more laboured. But we breathe to live because that is what good healthy bodies do. It is part of our make-up.
    So perseverance should not become a goal in itself. Perseverance happens because we need and want.B

  4. Thanks for the inspiration! What do I do to maintain perseverance? For me, it came down to making the decision–I am sticking with this project/dream/vision–and sticking with it no matter what. I made a sign, “Embrace the Vision,” and posted it beside my computer. I copied that mantra into the front of my writing notebook, and I look at it every day before I start working.

    I’m allowed to reassess direction occasionally, but I find it’s too easy for me to spin my wheels wondering if I’m wasting my time, if I’m good enough, if my current project idea is good enough…the standard stream of writers’ doubts!

    From one committed writer to another, though, keep on keeping on–and don’t forget that your ideas are already inspiring and motivating your online audience, your students, and anyone else who has the pleasure of reading your work. Maybe it’s not yet the *big* self-actualization you’d like (we’d ALL like!), but it’s a start๐Ÿ™‚.

    • Thanks, Cheryl! What particularly resonates with me is this line: “I’m allowed to reassess direction occasionally.” Fixating on a project in a certain way and then blindly plowing forward isn’t persistence, it’s stubbornness, yet sometimes when we’re being stubborn we don’t see it that way and instead think we’re being persistent.

      I’m thinking of changing the opening of the memoir I’m currently shopping. I’m considering it because I’m wondering if sticking with it as written, when it may not be “working” with some editors, is in fact stubbornness, whereas rewriting it would in fact be part of my persistence in seeing it published.

      • Patrick, the things you said in response to Cheryl are SO important, I think, too. Not just in respect to being an aspiring author, but in life. I’m sure anyone would agree.

        Cheryl’s “reassessment” comment immediately brought to mind a dear friend. When he first attended college out of high school, he majored in chemical engineering at Rutgers. About 6 months later, on his path to finding a job, was offered one that had absolutely NOthing to do with chemical engineering. He was led down a much different path right out of school. He has since obtained another 7 degrees (his last one: psychologist). Many people don’t end up working in the field they intended to and got a degree for, while many do, find themselves unhappy/disappointed and either can’t or are afraid to change direction. My son reassessed his path within a few years of graduation and added another degree to his belt. I think reassessing our direction is critical if, for whatever reason, we think we should shift.

        And, you know, if several editors had the same/similar opinion about your opening, I’d say your right in trying to work on it. I have a manuscript in which a couple of points were made by several people. It wasn’t until one particular editor critiqued it that It helped me better see why an outside reader was having trouble with something I didn’t see as a problem. It was the way she analyzed it, the questions she posed to help point me in directions that would actually lead me to fixes. I do think my resistance on a couple of points may have been stubbornness because I sincerely like the way it works and in changing it, don’t want to end up changing the verse or lengthening the story, or any of the other many things that can happen when you think your work is “finished” and “right”.

        It can be so difficult to be objective enough to truly define certain behaviors, right? With all that said, I’m thinking your reassessment of your opening may be the ticket๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I really liked this writing and I wish you luck in your desire to live an art committed life.

  6. As a creative who just plugs away (perseveres, thanks!) I really appreciate your piece. Timely, too, since I just posted “How to Deal With the Loneliness of Creativity” and on my art blog, and I won’t give away the ending . . . but it does have a strong connection to your concept of perseverance. It’s a great trait to have, and necessary in any creative endeavor. Thanks for this article. Always enjoy reading what you have to say.

  7. I always value your posts Patrick. i haven’t read the last one-moved, mired in too much stress, but i persevere because it’s who I am. i don’t castigate myself for not writing, specially since I teach, but I feel the call to dig into something serious -half started; i have a creative nature, feel too much, the whole 9 yards, got to do what i got to do. Write, best of all read; and live my life; i am not only a writer, I am a teacher, a Baha’i, an advocate for racial justice, a disowned mom at the moment, a wife to my guy of 28 years who is frail, and i’m held together physically by wire and string, but i believe in humanity. The dark days have come, no doubt about it, but then after a friend’s prayers, conversation, or just with my self and the Writings of the sacred ones, I’m crawling up that ladder rung again. Here’s to all of us; may we have days of rejoicing!

  8. I don’t know of a single person who leads the ‘art committed life’ who doesn’t struggle. My concept of leading a creative life is quite broad and I ‘allow’ that cooking, making the garden beautiful, writing a blog, as well as painting, creating mosaic and making jewellery are all part of the creative flow. I switch back and forth between them all. The energy that creates them is all part of the same flow and for me it’s important to stay in it, no matter what form. By switching from one mode to another I keep going, persevere.

    • Well said. Yes, we can bring creativity to everything we do. I’m glad that you cited cooking and gardening, those are both creative pursuits and–as I learned in a lecture in my MFA program–activities that have been found in surveys of artists to actually help artists to be more creative in their more formal artistic pursuits.

      Funny you mention blogging. One of the fears of my students is whether they’ll be able to keep a blog going, to keep putting up original posts. It’s a very real fear because blogging over the long term requires a lot of perseverance.

  9. Methinks it comes down to desire. Who would persevere with something for which they didn’t sufficiently desire. And, is it even a choice? I mean, I didn’t install the desire that infects my ograniZm. And I’m not responsible for my generally positive outlook, or my (possibly overly) romantic notions of the “artist.” Or my parents who never discouraged me about anything, who never told anything was impossible or pointless. Or the time when I was ten and playing tag around a friend’s house, and stopping in my tracks as I passed the open bedroom door of my friend’s older brother. There was this teenager working at a piano, composing like a maniac, tinkling the keys, then making notations, oblivious of distraction, of football, of the sun shining outside. I saw in that moment what an artist was — someone who works at it. I also saw passion and I’ve never forgotten it. That kid, by the way, gave birth to the jazz scene in Edmonton, Alberta, and soon the only school of jazz in North America outside New Orleans. For years Edmonton was called “Jazz City.” In conclusion…! let me amend my opening statement to say, “Methinks it comes down to the way we are.” For my perseverance, which sometimes feels like self-flagilation, I’m extremely grateful,

    • PJ, that was a fantastic story you shared there about the piano player. I hope you’ve written that somewhere before, as an essay or a chapter in a craft book? It’s worthy of wider distribution.

      Let me push back a minute on the “desire” element. We all have desires, and I would agree you need desire to have perseverance. But I would argue that desire does not guarantee perseverance. How often have you told someone you’re a writer and they say “You know what? I’ve got this great book in my head I’m going to write someday.” For all we know they may be right. But they’ve chosen to simply desire the idea of this book being written rather than undertaking the labor required to produce it and see it published. Those are the artists whose paths I don’t cross (or perhaps I cross their paths but don’t know they are artists).

      • Re “Desire”… yes, I know plenty of people who don’t sufficiently desire. So, I would question their desire. It’s a passionless desire, and therefore not really desire. Fictional protagonists need to “effectively” desire, or there’s not much of a story. Perhaps we need to consider ourselves the heroes of our own lives, and make sure that we “effectively” desire.

  10. I needed to read this today… thank you
    Terry

  11. I really enjoyed all these comments, too, and pj, you mentioned passion. I didn’t mention it before, but I think that has a lot to do with the perseverance. I think we also would have to be clear on what it is we’re persevering to achieve. If it’s to be a published author, it’s typically a long, hard and sometimes (unfortunately) impossible road. If we write because we love it, and even if we never got published, would still feel satisfied that we wrote—that’s true passion for the craft.

    I think that to persevere on the road to getting published, passion and hope have to be a part of the equation. Necessity can be thrown in there sometimes, too, but I don’t think you can persevere with things this difficult without the passion and hope.

    • You know, “hope” is an underappreciated, or perhaps misunderstood, state of being. It requires both passion and an understanding that not everything is completely in your control. The latter part is hard.

      • Patrick, I couldn’t agree more. The “unknown” and all the variables which ARE out of our control are hard to deal with, but if we don’t accept that and “let go,” we can’t do this and accept the many twists and turns that pull us off the straight course to getting published we all hope it can be, but so rarely is for anyone. Yep—it’s hard.

  12. Another thought-provoking post, Patrick. This is a question I think many creatives probably never ask themselves – and yet almost certainly should at some point in their lives.

    I think it depends how you define ‘perseverance.’ I write because… well, that’s just what I do, it’s in my cells and whatever other goopy stuff is me, I suppose. If I never made a penny from my writing, or no-one else ever saw any of it, I’d still do it no matter what. The creative passion is just there and I doubt it’ll ever go away.

    The trouble is though – and for me it always has been – is that it’s like an untamed horse. And while galloping all over the wilderness wild and free, going wherever I wanted and only showing up at the ranch when it suited me was great fun… it also meant I didn’t achieve as much as I might have otherwise done. It wasn’t until about three years ago that I realised I needed to put a leash around that filly’s neck and break her in properly – turn her into a good, working horse if I really wanted to get serious about my writing. And that’s the hard part; the discipline bit. Wild horses don’t like being tamed at first – and I’m still having moments of resistance, resentment and even downright rebellion in my journey to becoming a ‘proper’ writer. I want to do that, I really do. So I think it’s just about working out the right balance between the stick and the carrot. Or chocolate. Yeah, chocolate works better…๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Love the metaphor, Wendy๐Ÿ˜€

    • Bacon. The carrot is definitely made of bacon.

      First of all, thank you for demonstrating you’re a writer by building a wild horse metaphor!๐Ÿ™‚ Your point on writing just to write is certainly well taken, and you’re not the only one to make it here. And it comes up every time this blog discusses publishing.

      Let me share something I just learned, however. It’s about a British inventor named Oliver Lodge. I’ve just started reading “Thunderstruck” by Erik Larson, about the entwined lives of a murderer and the inventor of the radio (Marconi). Lodge, apparently, was on the cusp of inventing the radio (and was on the cusp of many other scientific breakthroughs in his life) but he shifted his attention to another scientific inquiry, and now Marconi is famous and I have to read a book about Marconi to know about Lodge. Larson writes that Lodge wrote a biography; he confessed in it that he had a habit of pulling back when he was close, perhaps out of a fear of failure, perhaps out of a fear of success. He greatly regretted this behavior. So I get that a writer should be happy writing, but I’d hate for a writer to wonder if he or she should have spent more time in life trying to ensure others could read that writing and appreciate it. So, thus, pursuing publishing is part of the equation, at least for some of us.

      • …yep, and all the time spent having to build a platform, all in that same pursuit.

      • Oh yes… pursuing publishing – that OTHER scary part…๐Ÿ˜‰

        Probably why I haven’t even started thinking about that yet for my current w-i-p. And, assuming I leap that hurdle, with that would come the whole self-promo bit… urrggh, not looking forward to that bit AT ALL. Reminds me of my school days: “Would you like to read your story out to the class, Wendy? I’m sure you would, wouldn’t you? Of course you would, why wouldn’t you? That’s right DO AS YOU’RE TOLD AND READ YOUR STORY OUT TO THE CLASS, WENDY…”

        I’d like to get my novel published, I really would. But it’s taken me until now to realise that if I can’t even harness the discipline to FINISH one, it aint never gonna happen. And yet at the same time I get what Lodge said too. Great success could be just as hard to deal with as great failure, which leaves you with the classic ‘Rock, Me, Hard Place’ scenario.

        What is it about geniuses and murderers? ‘The Professor and The Madman’ is another book about the writer of the Oxford English Dictionary, who eventually discovered that one of his most prolific contributors to the work was in fact an inmate in an asylum for the criminally insane. I suppose you have to be pretty clever to be a murderer…

        Mmm… bacon carrots, I could go for that too! Y’know, in the UK a certain frozen food company once made chocolate-flavoured carrots, in an attempt to encourage kids to eat them. Yes, really. Unsurprisingly, they bombed big-style and were pulled from the shelves within weeks of being launched.

        • How funny you mention “The Professor and the Madman.” That was the main focus of my MFA graduation lecture on “Writing Scenes You’ve Never Seen.” Simon Winchester is very good at putting you in the middle of a historical moment through use of detail he derives from research. I also cited Larson’s “Devil in the White City,” where he notes in his preface (or was it his afterword?) that he is reluctant to create true scenes, despite his intense research.

          As to the novel, I had an instructor in my program say you write the story the way it needs to be written, and then worry about the market. Now that probably isn’t always the best way to write a bestseller, but it’s a way to write a book the best it can be.

  13. I think my perseverance might be labeled “acute stubbornness”๐Ÿ™‚ Great food for thought!

  14. I think many of us ‘resemble that remark’, Patrick. What keeps me persevering in writing and other creative work? I feel terrible,like a stranger to myself dying a slow painful death,if I stay away from it too long.

    I think hanging around like-minded artists and getting inspired and/or making an effort to encourage others to persevere when they have doubts plays a major role. I’m usually stimulated and buoyed up after reading your posts, but the comments and input from others seals the deal and reassures me that I’m not alone. All of us who flock to this blog, we’ve been swans all along! To be honest,I have had a brutal winter (I suffer from seasonal depression as well)and had been dealing with other struggles and strife before it even hit. So I’ve been faltering in my productivity, and of course, beating myself up for it. I think I persevere because if I gave up doing the work of becoming a published author or achieving other artistic goals,I’d always wonder what I could have accomplished,what I feel I’ve been called to do on this earth. I’m not prepared to live the rest of my life in such agony,so I choose to recommit to a regular creative practice.

    • Hello Carole Jane! All, she has been a member of The Artist’s Road community for some time now and always brings value to the discussion.

      You spark several thoughts in me. One is how you end the comment; if you look at what I just wrote in response to Wendy, you’ll see me address the “agony” you are trying to avoid (what we both are trying to avoid).

      And yes, you are right about needing fellow artists who understand. This blog, as you know, is really all about the conversation that occurs below the posts; I am so grateful to the readers here for their value-adds! And I’ll confess I don’t currently have an in-person support group where I live, and that is my fault (I left a group when I didn’t think I could make the commitment to be supportive of them, but now I’ve lost their support as well.)

      I don’t know how you do it, living so far north with SAD. I admire you pushing your way through. Once again I was dismayed when they changed the clocks and it was dark again in the morning, but I’m just using the light a bit more again. We’ll get through this. (Did you know that Arizona, where I grew up, doesn’t participate in daylight savings time? They figure they have enough daylight as it is!)

      • You know, I just read about this with DST. Arizona opts out due to the heat index, not wanting to extend daylight “waking” hours, and Hawaii because they’re so close to the equator, changing the time wouldn’t make much difference. It’s actually not Federal law, so any state can choose to opt out. Obviously, it’s simply less confusing when everyone’s on the same page, but there’s a lot of debate as to how much energy it really saves (the reason for them instating it to begin with, first in 1918). I would think at this point in time, since we can do all kinds of things ’round the clock and most people are awake and busy way after dark anyway, and still use quite a bit of electricity after sundown, regardless of DST, you wonder if it makes much difference. And as you point out, Patrick—you use the electricity in the morning instead of at night!

  15. For me, and from the comments above, it’s a decision. I made the commitment to write and to do something with it, because otherwise I feel I’m letting down the one who provided me with the skill. Reassess direction, yes, figure out what’s not working, definitely. Quit? Not an option.๐Ÿ™‚

  16. My husband gave me a plaque a few years back, Patrick. It says: PERSISTENCE in gold caps. Itโ€™s got a little saying under it that I love. Every now and then my eye falls on it in a moment of pause and reflection, and I think, yeah, thatโ€™s what it takes. Keep writing.
    Nice post, as always.:)

    • Hi Cynthia! Persistence is another way of saying perseverance, of course. Kudos to your husband for both recognizing that in you and helping you maintain it through a gift.

  17. I have a little different take on perseverence. When I was younger and would get frustrated, I’d tell myself, “This is stupid. Why are you doing this? etc., etc.” and I’d swear off writing as a waste of time. But I always came back to it. Finally, I acknowledged that like it or not, I’m a writer. So now when it isn’t going well–either the words or the publishing–I’m able to take a longer view and and think, “It isn’t going well right now, but it will come back.” Beacuse it always does. So perseverence is a default setting. Maybe it’s not as inspiring as what others have said, but it’s perseverence nonetheless.

  18. My partner’s daughter’s boyfriend (what mouthful there!) is a visual artist. He did his MFA and does large canvass paintings which use tar, acrylics, etc. Fills in with odd jobs. It’s been like this for last 15 yrs.

    I think it’s a tough slog to have faith in one’s artistic abilities..to earn money and not bend to the popular art market.

  19. I think Perseverance is brilliant reasoning & sound logic, Patrick!! One has to in order to master their craft!! But it also allows us change in style & growth which adds to our gifts! We liked this post very much & will be sharing it now.

  20. Wow! This is one of those simple, undeniable truths that I’d never thought of in quite so many words. You’re completely right, of course. Most anyone create art, and many can create great art, but only those who stick to it get their art out there. That makes me feel good about where I am and what I’m doing. I stick to it through sheer stubbornness! Maybe that’s not such a bad thing after all.๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Hi Patrick, Thanks for this inspiring post – just what I needed this morning! I’ve been many things over the years, but through it all – always an artist at heart. I’m finally at a place in my life where I have the privilege to paint daily and I agree with you that perseverance is key. I believe it’s the continued expression of our inner light, however that light manifests itself, that builds an artful life over time. The important thing is to keep cultivating the light. I wish you much success and happiness on your creative journey!

  22. Creative energies are the raw juice of the spirit~yay!

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