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I don’t paint for “Fun”

December 17, 2013 by admin

Recently I did a little challenge on Facebook involving artists from around the world. It was not for money or any sort of prize, no fame or glory, no accolades from the high end galleries on 5th Avenue. It was artists on every level taking part in something just for fun. The response was good, and some wonderful paintings were created and sent in. Almost all of those I spoke or messaged with thought it a great idea, and something along these lines should be done again.

And then there were a few of the others… not the artists who were traveling had a million other things that had to be done and were putting them off because more important things kept coming up. No, I’m talking about that other % of people that see things that are fun as a waste of time.

Are you an artist? If so, at what point in your professional career does the fun leave your work?

Why is it you paint, or better yet, let’s step back a few years. Quite a few for some of us.

Why did you ever decide to pick up a paint brush, or pen and ink and begin to create? Is it something you did on your own, or more something that you had to do along with the rest of the kids?

To some a blank piece of paper made a better paper airplane than it did a place to make a picture, but for me I found drawing a lot of fun. Something that was easilyRGS Circa 1977small picked up, always got good responses from other people, except from the teacher when I was supposed to be paying attention, and it gave me something to do whenever I was grounded and had to stay in my room. This was maybe one of my first ways to escape the here and now was through my art, and enter the world of my imagination.

Not everyone likes art, that’s a given. But what about those of us who do like art, and are good at it and making our career at it. Do we like it? Do we enjoy the act of creation? I do, but then I’m the kind of guy who likes just about everything, (except stewed tomatoes, yech!) And if I don’t like something, I still make the best of whatever it is. I have heard many say that the simpler minded people enjoy life much more than most because they don’t have the worries and questions that the more educated have.

Is this true? Maybe so.

I see a number of people totally miserable in their lives because they are not content. They are not content with what they have, and question incessantly. Learning is a wonderful thing, but for me I find if something gets in the way of my being happy, go around it, and if that’s not possible, make the best of it.

smile

smile

I’ve always been a “happy go lucky” type of personality, but real peace did not come to me till I fell face first into “AA”. Here I learned this helpful little prayer written by Reinhold Niebuhr… “Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to Know the Difference”.

For me, this has been a lifesaver and helps me enjoy life as I can. My wife Susie tells me on occasion that “at our age, we have earned the right to enjoy life to it’s fullest!” I’m kind of paraphrasing, but maybe you get the drift.

While mentoring under Rick Howell he made it clear that on occasion you don’t have to look at a subject and evaluate it along the same lines as your gallery would. Deciding whether it would translate well as a large corporate work, or it fits in your gallery. Every once in a while you just need to paint something for fun, because you want to, the way you want to.

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”

I feel very fortunate to have spent my entire adult life in the field of art, doing something I enjoy. Whether you are or not it does not keep you from trying to make each and every moment on earth enjoyable for yourself or for others.  My 10 years as Cubmaster gave to me a credo that I live by and you may well know it too… “KISMIF” say it with me, “Keep It Simple, Make it Fun”

Maybe I will never be a “serious” artist, and if it’s a serious artist I must be, then you can have it. Because though I do take art seriously, I will do so with a smile   🙂

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5 Responses to “I don’t paint for “Fun””

  1. Hi Greg, This is a thought provoking post, sometimes I’m not sure what fun is, I know there are some things other people consider as fun are not for me. Ultimately an artist has to make the work their compelled to make, it is the work that will speak to the world in terms that have no bearing on any other part of life that is not there before it. Painting can have agonizing moments and be exhausting, it’s addictive, and can give you a “high” that’s good and real. I hope I didn’t overstep on commenting about you painting along the road……it did scare me because I can relate. Best! Matt

  2. Excellent post, Greg and as someone that has met you and spent a tiny amount of time with you, I can attest to the fact that you are what you say you are. At the AIS workshop and show I was struck by how you went out of your way to be personable, helpful to others, and willing to chat about our craft with each of us whether we were inexperienced or pros like yourself. You were unabashed about talking about AA, and by admitting your own weaknesses it made people like me feel more comfortable, as I suffer from anxiety disorder when in social situations. I do enjoy my craft as well, and although I had to wait until age 54 to begin something I had wanted to do all my life, I intend to enjoy it each and every day that I have left, God willing. Your work reflects your joy in your chosen field and I enjoy looking at it! Thanks for the post!

  3. Dick Sneary says:

    I used to show my grandfather my art and architecture when I was young and he would ALWAYS take the time to listen and ask me intelligent questions about it, making me feel that whatever I was doing was important. Once in response to a discussion about some of my drawings he said, remember, “Simplicity is the Essence of Art”…not sure of the source, but it was something I never forgot. An uncle on the other side of the family told me once, “…it doesn’t matter what you do Richard, just make sure it’s something you love doing”. Both comments have stuck with me…doesn’t need to be complicated and love doing it…that’s always fun!

  4. Great thoughts to live by Greg. I totally agree that we must paint for ourselves at least some of the time. I never paint anything with the potential for it selling, being my sole reason for painting. Occasionally I paint knowing full well that a particular subject most likely won’t sell, but those are some of the most personal and thus valuable paintings to me.

    I have enjoyed seeing your work and being part of the online community that has benefitted from your involvement! Thank you for taking the time, to share all that you do!! (I always thought that prayer was from St. Francis, but I am Catholic, so I am no expert…I looked it up and sure enough Reinhold is listed as the author…regardless who first spoke it, they are definitely words to live by!)

  5. Peggy says:

    The prayer written by Reinhold Niebuhr… ”Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to Know the Difference”, has been one of my favorites, but I did not know who wrote it until now! Thanks for sharing that Greg. Nice blog article too. 😉

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