A Cross Road...
This is a view from our gallery today. What you can't see is that it is raining fairly hard and the wind is blowing about 40-50 miles an hour. The only cars on the street belong to those of us that are working.
I have spent too many years in So Cal and am now freezing my buns off. I do have the fire place burning, so it is nice and cozy inside the gallery.
The last couple of days have been spent on reflection and going through the inventory of my work. I have decided that more than half of them are going to get painted over and given a fresh start.
Maybe it is a period of self loathing. My work is just not up to professional standards.
After 20 some years in the art business and countless years of study, I have reached a place where I can almost always tell the difference between 'good' and 'not quite'. It has nothing to do with whether or not I like it, but the quality of the work. The good ones have three things; Head, Hand and Heart.
It isn't even something I can describe. It is more of a feeling. To be a real professional you need all three. Sure there are many people who have made a living having only one or two, but their work will never have any lasting value.
Over the last two years I have put much more effort into my painting than I have in some time. I think I have a good eye. I can see the designs in my head and they're good. My heart is still there. I feel my work as if it's a part of my soul that I slice off and put on display. It is my hand that is failing me. It is just not where it should be. Every now and then, the three come together and I create a work that is great.
This painting I think is one of the best I have ever done. Technically speaking.
Once in a while however, does not cut it. If it were another artist that wanted to show in my gallery I would tell them they are not quite ready yet. Well...
I'm not ready yet!. I need more practice, more study, more time... I may never have it. I know that. Most wont. I have met thousands of artists who are good, but will never take it to the next level.
I'm close. I can see the next level and it is killing me that I can't take it up a notch.
It leaves me at a cross road. 1) I can keep going down the same path, painting when I get the time. 2) I can sacrifice some of the time I want to spend with my wife and son in order to spend it in the studio. 3) I can give up being a painter and go back to photography. Precious likes my photographs more than my painting and has been trying ever so kindly to tell me, that's what I should do. Replacing all of my equipment is another set of roads. 4) I can chuck them all and devote all of my energy to the gallery and sell other artists work. 5) I can just sit down and stare at these many roads until I decide which one to follow. There will definitely be more intersections on all of them. 6) I can lay in the middle of one of the roads and hope I get run over and wont have to think about any of it any more. 7) And there are I'm sure other options I have yet to consider.
I wish there was a bar on one of these roads. Is it too early for a drink?