Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Being an artist

As promised some time ago, I am going to throw some thoughts at you, hoping for a reaction, you may not at all agree, that would be interesting!!
I have been thinking a lot lately about my 'job', and the role of artists in general in society nowadays.
Things have changed since let's say the 19th century. Before that, artists used to be important because they made the memories, the impressions of the times and lives- in other words, they created records of their days and of the 'interesting' people. Something we nowadays have photo's and movies and television and internet for. 'We' being everybody in the whole world...
Because of photographs and other recording media, artists got their chance to move on, experiment, create abstracts, develop a whole new image-language and add lots of interesting things, like personality, impressionism, expressionism, engagement, conceptual thinking to their work.
A wonderful development - and still a record of the time we live in!

But there is also the 'artist as a person' that I think plays a role in nowadays society.
The artist (I take myself as an example here) doesn't have a responsible job.
She is doing all day what she likes best in the whole world and that is painting her favourite subjects, with her favourite materials.
She is also thinking about painting, about art in general, contemplating things like the above, developing new insights, struggling to get a portrait done, having so many ideas and not enough time to execute them all.

Artists can be alcoholics, drug addicts, mentally ill and obsessed, depressed souls, but believe me, they enjoy even that! And their audience can have a piece of the action by looking at their work.

We, the artists, can afford to be the children (or the cats, or the crazy people) of our society. We don't conform to the daily rules of when to get up, sleep or work. And we get away with it. We can have the fun or the weird experiences FOR the other people with the responsible jobs and the hard lives, we can share a piece of our world with them. We can follow up on silly ideas, or on our enormously large dramatic engagement and after expressing that in a work of art we make others feel what the other life can be...

We may not be able to afford a decent car - but we can afford to live a free lifestyle, look different, be different. We get away with almost everything because we're artists!

I know I belong to the category of 'happy' people and I am sure it has to do with aquarelle one way or another (I feel another post coming up!) Although I have no money and have to 'work' very hard to make ends meet, I am always positive - and optimistic- about life in general, where it's going with the world, and about the 'good' in people. And I do know that that shines through in my work, especially the work 'from the insides of my eyeballs', the abstracts, the DNA and the planets (but also in the the portraits, the houses, the roses and the animals...)
With my (sur-)realistic and figurative work I try to make you see the beauty and mystery that I see in the world around me... and with my abstract work, I try to map what's there in my brain - the things you see right before you fall asleep, the things you imagine in the inside of your cells, what a guitar solo looks like, in colours, in rhythm, in shapes... And aquarelle, because of its characteristics and the non- controllable aspect of the paint, made me do it!

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