Thursday, November 8, 2012

Things I have learned

How do artists know when they have "made it"? This has been a burning question for me lately. As I look back on the last year or so, I believe my growth as an artist has accelerated. I was very fortunate to spend 4 months as artist-in-residence at the Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, WI. That experience helped me to lose my fear of "performing" in public, and led to my being asked to teach a beginner workshop at the Peninsula School of Art in Door County next summer. I will also have a solo exhibit for two months in the main lobby at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, MI. These milestones in my career give me a sense of positive momentum and make me believe that I'm moving in the right direction.

I can also see improvement in the quality of my work. I believe that some artists are born prodigies, but I can attest to the years of work and sacrifice that it takes most of us to "make it" in the art world. And not only do I see the physical improvement in my work, but there's been a shift in my consciousness that has been enlightening. I am in awe of the many wonderful artists who are making a living selling their work. There have been many times I've wanted to quit and get a "real" job and a regular paycheck. But it's almost like having an addiction to create, and I can't stop.

The two images shown here are of the same model, painted about 6 months apart. The one on the left was done this spring and the one on the right was painted about a month ago. I felt pretty good about the first one when I had finished it. But the second shows the nuances that I've acquired by practice, practice, and more practice in painting from live models. My inconsistencies are still there, but I'm working to improve every day. Thank you for following my journey!


skarppala said...

Wow! They are both SO good. Each is special. I would definitely say you've made it, in my book. Otherwise I wouldn't have ordered a portrait for a Christmas gift for my husband! I am so excited. I can't wait!

Kay said...

Thank you for your kindess! I'm looking forward to working on your portrait!

Fran Short said...

Wow ---Kay the difference is profound. Not that your first one wasn't good but six months later it is like a photograph! You really nailed the skin tone.

Kay said...

Thank you, Fran!