Saturday, March 21, 2009

Art Is Hard?

Art is hard?! It was for me! Problem was I didn't think it was for other artists, thus in my mind that was one of the reasons their art was better. With the re-emergence into my art career last fall I began to read articles online about the struggles artist have in creating. What an eye opener! I'm thinkin' this misperception also showed my lack of hanging out with other artists! Actually that is still limited since I have my studio in my home - but one of my desires is to find a small group of artists that would like to meet, talk shop, and chill. So I'm scouting the horizon for local would-be-art-comrades!

Back to Art Is Hard! Check out these artists' quotes I recently found on Painter's Keys. Very comforting and encouraging to me. Maybe it will give those who don't 'do art' a small window into the soul of an artist.

Painting is a source of endless pleasure, but also of great anguish. (Balthus)

Painting is easy, getting it right is the hard bit. (Danny Byrne)

Painting a picture is like trying to fight a battle. (Winston Churchill) Hmm, Churchill was an artist!?

Only bad painters enjoy painting. (Cecil Collins)

When I am halfway there with a painting, it can occasionally be thrilling... But it happens very rarely; usually it's agony... I go to great pains to mask the agony. But the struggle is there. It's the invisible enemy. (Richard Diebenkorn)
By the way, I love Diebenkorn's work! Check it out at

So yes it's true art is work, hard work - even in the midst of thrills! Discovering this has brought me more freedom and enjoyment in my art. I hope it shows in my work.

Wishing you creative struggles, because they are worth it!


Anonymous said...

The trick is to make it look easy, but it's never actually easy to make art. The passion, the struggle all add to the power of the work, but how wondeful when it looks effortless!

Nancy Teague said...

Good point Jan - your beautiful landscapes certainly exude that!
I think most artists aren't trying to trick the viewer into thinking it's easy or effortless, but many viewers can be awed or moved by a work and attribute it to easy,amazing talent - having no idea of the struggle to create it. What is that old quote - "Art is 10% talent and 90% work (or is it "sweat and tears")."?

Perhaps as the artist does "work" at it or matures it does become more effortless. But don't you think a good artist would continue to stretch and challenge his/her abilities - in that case the struggle will still be there!