Summer clouds Wallace Bridge (detail)
Acrylic on canvas
40 x 40 inches
Barbara Muir © 2014It's hard to be a painter and a cleanomaniac. Maybe
the two are diametrically opposed. My hands are
definitely dirty tonight -- covered in paint, but as I painted
like a fiend all day today I could hear the common
myths about artists running through some quarter of
my mind, and I'd chuckle to myself thinking about them.
1. We're disorganized
Myth -- we need to be very organized just to
paint one painting. We need to plan the image,
get the colours mixed, buy the canvas, do
the underpainting -- and perhaps that is in different
parts of the painting.
2. We're emotionally stormy and deranged.
Myth -- I'm not completely discounting this, but please!
It's hard to concentrate for hours on end, dedicate ourselves
to the task, keep the non-artist people in our lives
happy if we're having hissy fits. We can't. Plus
making art is supposed to be very, very good for
the brain and the emotions. Calming.
3. We are selfish.
Myth -- Not true, I've talked to more than one artist
in the past few days who was getting
work ready to donate to a cause. This is great
for the cause, but for an artist dependent on selling
that work to make a living not so lovely -- in Canada
Statistics Canada says that on average a woman artist
working full time makes $8,000 dollars, and on average
a male artist working full time earns $9,000 per year.
Which means that donation is the height of generosity.
I'll stop at three. The artists I know are happy, kind, have
well rounded lives, families, and frequently two or three
other jobs just to support their art careers. Of course that's
an anecdotal sample, but I feel blessed to know each one.
Have an-enjoying-getting-your-hands-dirty-making-art day.