Friday, 4 January 2008

Still working never thinking.

I went to the Woodford Folk Festival a few days ago and enjoyed the creative abilities of many a musician. The Failed Painter and her partner escorted me through the myriad of people and the mud and rain - we had a few conversations on the way - typically about arty stuff.

At one point we talked about the amount of artists there are these days. It seems to be that everyone wants to be an artist. Is it trendy to be an artist? Can everyone be an artist? Is everything Art? Is art practice a delusion of those who are members of the cult of cool? What does it mean to be an artist today or even in the past? Should the government fund the arts?

My questions to myself in response are:

One - could I give up art tomorrow and never look back.
Two - do I have any talent at all?
Three - am I relevant to the art world (whatever that is) in any way?
Four - am I just being stubborn and seek art as a way of justifying my existence to others?
Five - should I go and get a real job and see art as a hobby?

This could go on and on, but on a personal level in response to my own whimsical questioning, I feel that I can lay claim to being an artist of sorts. Not perfect, but genuinely interested and committed enough to struggle through years of an art life. I must have some sort of talent in this area, otherwise I would have completely failed by now.

Is it true, that there are "artists" out there in the world who should not be artists, due to there lack of ability and talent? Are some of these "artists" pulling in the money where other more seemingly, deserving artists are scraping through?

Maybe commitment, talent, luck and hard work are factors that make or break the fool who would be an artist. But besides all that ambivalent discussion and rhetorical questioning, I am still working on my 'as' painting - it's more confused than ever and I need to finish it within four weeks.

Scribbles, scumbles and fragmented, unlinked ideas - "as a man thinks so he is".


  1. Hey David, Time to quit wondering and keep on working. From what I can see you have broken new territory with this work, maybe this is representative of the transition you are going through in working/ art life. Just looking at the composition everything is floating freeform nothing is fixed, looking forward to seeing the progress of this one.

  2. Don't you think that it would be great if everyone who wanted to be, was an artist? Where no-one artist is competing with an-other artist, but just being who they are and creating what they are creating? You may have some artists who "live on an oily rag" for there art, and others who have day jobs but work a "second job" for their is all fine, all artists are different.

  3. My posting on artists and art culture is meant to be a bit provocative. Also, it's about clarifying art and career for the artist. Just because you want to be an artist, doesn't mean you should be an artist. Some people are attracted to the art culture and lifestyle but literally have no expertise as an artist. Others are money makers who tap into the culture to squeeze out the bucks.
    The line of questioning in the post is meant to be a cheeky self test on whether one should be an artist or not - while being a bit critical of the art culture.
    On a personal note, I have known where I stand on these issues years ago and offer this posting as a discussion primer.

  4. Elizabeth,
    One of the aims of the artwork was to break the picture plane. It is very hard to draw an object and relate it to the next object without referring to the physics of reality - i.e. perspective, shadow, light, size, depth etc.
    I have tried this before in other works - even in the early eighties.
    But you are right, in that some new ground has been broken - the technique and subject matter have evolved somewhat.

  5. dear dave

    i am sory we cant make it to the show, thank you for the invite. the resturant with the new german chef is pretty full on.

    as for art i feel you don't have to be so literal an rational. let it flow and just go for it who cares, it's a game. serious or not you have something to say, say it whatever.

    i think this new painting is finished. don't touch it. some of your stuff seems over worked and a bit tired. this is fresh and interesting, not so formal, a bit more questuoning in terms of content and imagery.


  6. Dear David, we shall all be attending, thankyou. And I think this work shows great promise and I can't wait to see it. see you soon.

  7. HEY ROJ - I hear that you have been a bit busy lately. Did Hollie get engaged? I bumped into Alethia today at the Beerwah Woolies - I can't believe she is now 30 with two kids - she still looks just the same, and still has your eyes and physique. I asked her to my Art show - she seemed very interested. She was very happy to catch up and gave me a hug while I was waiting at the checkout.

  8. Oh Snorky thats too bad - I was hoping you would come up for a breath. I hope the German comes up with the sausage for your new venture. We will most likely make the trip to deutchfeast before too long so easy on the Sauerkraut.

    Thanks Loretta for the support - I hope I can come up with the goods.

    As for the painting - a mans gotta do what he's gotta do - and so do women.


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