Thursday, October 7, 2010

Welcome to my art blog!!

This is my first little attempt at blogging. I want to just share a few thoughts about life as an artist, and as a person trying to balance my love of life and family with this addiction that is art. There are a few quotes I found early on in my art career that have stayed with me and helped me in forming the compass that I have used to guide the choices that I have made at important turning points, as well as in the choices I've made in deciding what I am going to paint next.

One of the books I found that I loved very much was a collection of letters by the great American artist N. C. Wyeth to his mother when he was just getting started as an artist. One thing he said had a real impact on me. He said " The genuineness of the artists' work depends on the genuineness of the artists' living. In other words, art is not what you do, it is what you are. We cannot in art produce a fraction more than what we are."

Another amazing illustrator from the same time period as Wyeth was Harvey Dunn. Dunn was also a wonderful and tough teacher who spoke very directly. He said in his classes " If your life is full , you'll paint full pictures. If it is empty, your pictures will be empty too!

These two men not only painted powerful paintings that even today continue to inspire people but they lived lives that touched countless admirers and friends. I watched a wonderful documentary about N. C. Wyeth and his relationship with his children who all went on to become noted artists, musicians and inventors. I was so moved by how deeply he treasured each of his children and his wife and how they and his art didn't seem to occupy different spheres of his life, but all seemed to be be weaved together to make a meaningful life. And Dunn was also wonderful family man who was a huge influence on his students, many of which went on to be famous artists and illustrators. John Clymer was a member of the Illustrators Hall of Fame and later one of our greatest western painters who took me under his wing early in my career and was so kind to help me see what it really meant to be an artist. John was a student of both Wyeth and Dunn. When he spoke of Dunn's classes tears would pour out and it became hard for John to speak.

So these three great artists and great men taught me something that has stayed with me all these nearly forty years of painting. They taught me that life, career and family were tied together in a way that could benefit and make each richer. And I feel that it was a lesson that has proven right. And so I guess it probably has a lot to do with why I chose to include my family in so much of my subject matter. And that choice has truly made my life richer. I have to admit that I haven't always succeeded in balancing the things that were important but I'm so grateful that I was introduced to these men early in my career and for how that has always given me something to shoot for. It helped me to see that taking time to go for a bike ride with the kids or going for our walks to the river or a thousand other things we found to do usually not only brought us closer but left me inspired with new ideas for paintings. There are a lot of very talented painters coming up in the art world right now that I admire a lot but if there is one thing I feel would make their art more meaningful it would be to follow Wyeth and Dunn's advice and put more of themselves into their art and to fill their lives with rich experiences that bring about inspiration naturally.

As another great artist named John Carlson wrote " A picture is a work of art, not because it is " Modern" nor because it is " Ancient " but because it is a sincere expression of the human heart."

7 comments:

  1. Keep blogging...I like what you are putting up so far..you have much to share! Come say hi at my blog too..we do have a full life! :D (www.circlecliffviews.blogspot.com)

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  2. Beautiful post. What Mr Wyeth said "..the genuiness of an artists work depends on the genuiness of the artists living..." makes perfect sense. We see your life through your paintings. The love you have for your family reflects in your paintings and I think that's why your art appeals to so many people. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Have a wonderful day. Maura :)

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  3. Wonderful informative post. I have fallen in love with your work.Hope to purchase one real soon. Thank you for beautiful inspiring paintings. Joann

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  4. Your work reminds me of one of my favorite themes best set forth in Gene Logsdon's The Mother of All Arts, Agrarianism and the Creative Impulse and movingly expressed in your work. The land is both motivator and muse and sustainer of all life. I honor and collect your work. One of my favorites is now background on my computer, thanks to your downloads.

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  5. Congratulations, you're a great artist!
    I am Brazilian and I love his paintings!
    I love to paint! My blog is nandapintora.blogspot.com
    Cheers!

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  6. I can't get enough of your work. I could stare at it all day. The expressions and the beauty and how real the paintings are to me...I'm sure you hear all of this every day. You are very wise. It's refreshing to hear words of wisdom that many generations need to heed to. That includes mine. Thank you for your art, for putting your life in your work. Thats what sets it apart from all the other paintings, its missing something...life, love, heart, passion, and honesty. Thank you for putting that into your work. I wish you had a daily calander/day planner with a main picture for every month and your wise words or quotes that have helped you through life for every week. I keep looking every year! Maybe one of these days...when that happens, I will be first in line! -Loralee

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  7. I'm not going to read the other comments before posting this one. So I'm being careful not to look at the screen.
    I am grateful for the person who sent me a slide show of your art. I seldom go looking for an individual anything, but the beauty in your "work" did just that. This is my idea of art. And everything you have shared about it is so true. All of this came from your inner being and I appreciate the love in your paintings. You have captured God's purpose for family. Thank you.

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