I like to paint. It’s more of a compulsion actually. Even when I’m sitting in traffic or watching a movie, I’m mentally painting. It’s pretty much always been that way, so I guess I was born to paint.
It’s hard to paint, or at least to paint well. And being an artist is unique as a profession these days because he often has to teach himself drawing and composition, color theory and paint chemistry, all the skills involved in the translation of the three-dimensional world into a new two-dimensional world. It’s a very complicated language to learn, and then he must spend thousands of hours practicing the art and science of painting. There really aren’t too many jobs like this. Singers can sing someone else’s songs, actors can repeat someone else’s lines, but the fine artist isn’t considered an artist unless he is the composer, designer and playwright of his own original work. After all, a counterfeiter of art brings to bear all the same skill and knowledge, but is never to be regarded as an artist, only a copyist.
If an artist decides to make a life of it, then he must also teach himself marketing and book keeping, framing and crating and shipping, business administration and website management, plus photography and Photoshop if he wants to enter into competition. I once had a successful businessman tell me that if I expected to succeed as an artist, I had to be a good businesswoman. I told him that was like me telling him that in order to succeed as a businessman he had to paint a beautiful portrait of every one of his board members. He said I was wrong, that was not true—but it’s only not true because he doesn’t have to paint to be a businessman.
I’m focusing my energies right now on helping other people get off to a good start as artists, and hopefully saving them years of struggle. For information about my classes, please email me and I will send you the current schedule.
Represented exclusively by RS Hanna Gallery (website: rshannagallery.com).
American Artists Professional League
American Impressionist Society
Oil Painters of America
Outdoor Painters Society
Portrait Society of America
The Salmagundi Club