Inventing Art Is No Easy Task

Working hard in the Tea House Studio

“I have not failed.  I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” – Thomas Edison

I’ve been a bit absent from my blog and social networking lately, not because of laziness and certainly not because I’ve lost interest in art.  To the contrary, I’ve been really working hard and I am growing in my craft.  The thing is, I just have a hard time multi-tasking, especially when it comes to art.  Currently I find myself challenged with new subject matter, new techniques and a new palette in my painting pursuits.  Some days end with a great feeling of achievement and some days end with nothing more than paint covered hands and discouragement.

There is a lot to be said for the person who moves through life on a path of calculated security, methodically dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s in adherence to the proven formulas and paradigms that have been established and re-established time and again.  To many, it seems only logical to buy in completely to the virtues of having a solid job, a 40-hour work week, a 401k and a life in which occupation and personal gratification are separate, yet noble goals.  Some of the happiest people I’ve met belong to the group that I just described and at times I envy the apparent simplicity and wisdom of their course, but at the end of the day I have to acknowledge that I dance to the beat of a different drummer and like Lady Gaga, I find myself singing “Baby, I was born this way”.

Artists don’t choose to be artists because it is easy.  The truth is that most artists have an incredibly strong work ethic, working every waking hour and often in their sleep as well to create something that has never been created before.  In that respect, we are not at all unlike the great Thomas Edison, driven to transform our thoughts into something tangible that will somehow make our world better.  The desire to create is an unquenchable thirst and if we are fit to be artists, we must be prepared to live a life of trial and error just as Edison did.  It really makes no difference whether we are self taught or highly educated, the greatest test for the artist is in the classroom of perseverance and desire.

The inspired artist and teacher Robert Henri said it best when he said “That necessity is the mother of invention is true in art as in science”.  “ The only people that ever succeed in writing, painting, sculpture, manufacturing, in finance, are inventors”.

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