Monday, 19 September 2011

Who is Following Who?

Painting figures in a market scene.
Smaller section within a large  composition.

Who is Following Who?

It is Monday morning and a whole new exciting week faces me. I leave tomorrow for a meeting with my publishers and the last professional photography shoot for my second book. Am I  excited? Absolutely! Words can't begin to decsribe how I feel this morning as the excitement is setting in already. I have so many techniques I am sharing my my next book, many new and I am so looking forward to the launch next year which seems like such a long way away.

I have been looking back at the advise I have been given from established artists over the years and smiling. Believe it or not I was told by one very famous artist never to write books or DVDs.  I was told very clearly by many established and well known artists  never to be on facebook ot  twitter. I was also very well advised never to write a blog. I was also advised to always use a preliminary sketch and always complete all the picture with every single detail in it. As you can see I ignored their advise.

But how things change!

Since I was offered these words of wisdom I now find the very same established artists who advised me to avoid facebook are now all on it and sharing like crazy! Some posting paintings as if there is no tomorrow as if making up for lost time by not being on it in the past. Apparently,all of a sudden its a now a great idea to make time to be online!

Blogs all of a sudden are now a GOOD thing and new information is now released by them on a regular basis.

I am so fascinated that the artists giving me advise now all seem to think that just possibly my ignoring them wasn't a bad thing after all as they are all following in my footsteps. To be honest I find it quite amusing. And in a way sad. You see, they are already estbalished in the art world and well respected all over the world. So my question is why? Why spend so long on the computer when you are already famous, well known and "out there".  And the answer  worries me a little bit.

It occured to me that possibly fame and all the attention recieved by some well known artists will never be enough.  And this is a frightening  thought. Does our joy in painting and sharing eventually become taken over with an addiction to being the most well known artist there is? If so I need to put my brushes down right now as I never want to be in this position.

I want to always paint because I love painting and for no other reason. And this joy I try to share in each of my posts. My art life is as simple as that.

For me one part of my art is and always will be consistent.  My passion for watercolour. Not what happens because of that emotion. Just the sheer joy of sharing my love for working in this medium that I adore so much. This is why I hold smaller art classes so that I can enjoy teaching and giving everyone who comes to me individual attention. I don't see myself as ever being a huge name in the art world because there are so many artists who are far better than I,and there always will be.

There are many famous artists who never use the internet because they are where they wish to be and have no need for further self promotion.  I admire them so much on many levels.  They have the confidence to know that whatever happens no new emerging artist is going to steal their limelight or effect their art journey. These are the art names who will give good advise and mean it  because they are not threatened by someone new doing well.

So my advise if you are a new artist is to follow your dreams. Never let anyone tell you not to reach for where you want to be; and more importantly never let anyone tell you that you can't get there. You can and maybe, just maybe  anyone trying to hold you back isn't doing so for the right reasons.

To those who told me what not to do in the past and who are now following in my footsteps. Maybe next time you give advise to an emerging artist you will possibly listen to their views rather than dismiss them. They could be the very ones helping you in your own career so thank them for sharing their enthusiasm with you and allowing you to be a part of their world!

I honestly believe we all learn from each other,the enthusiasm and eagerness of a  beginner in art can often give energy to the older more seasoned artist who as been painting for such a long time they have forgotten what it feels like to have that wonderful excitement when they first pick up a brush to start a new painting!

And it appears the older more seasoned artist has a lot to learn by following newer artists  who love to share on blogs and facebook!

Have a great week and please please please...........

Follow your dreams and be you!



Capt Elaine Magliacane said...

I'm so glad you ignored the sage advise and went your own way. I loved your first book and your DVD's let me see how much you truly love watercolor and the joy you have painting. For me painting will always be a hobby, because I LOVE watercolor too. I'm looking forward to your next book, and another DVD too :-)

Carrie'sCreations said...

Great advice, you can never go wrong just being you and following your passions:) Probably a lot of those artists didn't know how to use fb, twitter or a blog:)

Sharon Rogers said...

you are are so right - we never stop learning, and total beginners or even children can teach us because their viewpoint is different, so being open to anything new to us has to enrich us and make our lives more exciting. Thank you for your ideas and thoughts - you put into words what I feel. Bless you. Sharon.

meera said...

Wonderful words of wisdom! My son sent me cartoon once after seeing a postcard on my refrigerator that said "Follow Your Bliss" and the cartoon quipped "Don't follow me - I am following MY bliss" :)