Monday, April 8, 2013

The Language of Artists

Today I was talking to a woman about painting. She is not an artist but she's always wanted to learn to paint. As we talked about colors and brushwork and different styles of expression, her eyes lit up and she grew animated. We were speaking the same language even though she had never painted! It occurred to me how important it is to spend time with people who speak your language. They Get it. Painting is such a solitary profession. Even though I'm surrounded by supportive family and friends, I usually see their eyes glaze over when I'm enthusing about some great art observation or discovery. They don't hear or see the same language.
It's interesting that the French Impressionists who were friends with each other in youth and even painted the same scenes side by side, worked in isolation as they got older. Monet even asked his dealer at one point to not reveal to Renoir where he was going on a painting trip so that he could work alone. Yet they still would get together in Paris from time to time to hang out and talk about art and artists. I suspect that they left these dinners renewed and re energized and ready to get back to work. 

April Rain in the Valley of the Oaks
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  1. I wonder if most of us artists are introverts. For the most part I love working in solitude but I would also love to spend a weekend hanging out with other artists to paint and just talk art. Not a conference or workshop, just a gathering. Thanks for a thoughtful post!

    1. I feel exactly the same R.L. For that reason I was looking forward to the Publisher's Invitational in the Adirondacks in June. I just had to cancel and I'm so disappointed. As far as artists being introverts, I think artists are more sensitive to their environment but not necessarily disproportionately introverted. I do think the extroverts have the definite advantage when it comes to marketing their work.


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