I am a bit freaked out to admit that I have not been in my studio since my exhibition in June.... except to peel more layers of paint and mildew off the walls. ( Perhaps that in itself is an artistic act, a happening if you will, with all the amazing effects that are like a subtle graffiti growing on the walls.) I am more than a little frightened that my days as an artist with serious intent are over.
I think part of it is due to the fact that I have been working almost every day on the apartment rental project.
It really takes many hours of germination to come up with the mood and the ideas to paint seriously. And I like to paint seriously. Maybe the paintings are not serious but I like to go at a properly prepared canvas or support, with good material hoping that I will like the result and it will be a keeper.
Also, if one is a creative type maybe gardening, photography, and blogging are creative acts as well . And there must be ideas and input for there to be out-put.
The question of whether one is an artist has arisen in many guises. In FRance you are not taken seriously as an artist if you sell to customers and in any way change your choices to suit a customer. For example, tourist art is hardly considered art even though it may put food on the table. Of course, everyone here wants to be recognized by a gallery or sponsor but not be seen to be featuring that. On the other hand, in America if you don't sell you can't very well call yourself an artist, period.
When I first started doing my strangest pieces I was taken more seriously as an artist. Of course, those sold the least. So now, I suppose, I have arrived. But not really. There is nothing sadder than taking down a successful exhibition and having to shelve many works that did not sell. The analogy is like an ugly daughter who can't find a suitor and who lives at home for the rest of her life. The parents receive her back with fondness but wishing better for her.
One of the few excuses I have is that I have been spending more time with friends. Art is a lonely endeavor and even more difficult if you are an out-door type extravert. I suppose time will tell. Does it count as art that I painted my toenails green yesterday. It is just the right shade, I hunted for a long time to get that right.