As I immerse myself in different art cultures I’m struck by different groups of artists. I’m amazed at how there are so many different artists with different techniques, subjects, and purposes for painting. As I forge my own artistic career, I’m trying to be mindful of the different groups.
I see some artists who paint purely as a hobby, for fun. Others paint because they have some kind of intense passion inside them that they must get out via expression. They see themselves as some kind of tortured soul, or some kind of special person with special angst. Everybody can have angst if they want to.
Of course, I don’t presume to know why each artist pursues his or her craft. I can only speak to what I have seen from their art, their bogs, and their commentary.
It’s great if you paint for a hobby, or for fun. I think painting can be incredibly healing for oneself, but just oneself. I personally find painting very therapeutic, but that is not the only reason I paint.
To this passionate artist complex, I just want to say that it is not right. Honestly, I don’t think we see this kind of personal expression/tortured artist dichotomy till Beethoven. Beethoven, the deaf pianist, persevered through his handicap and still managed to create wonderful music. But let’s be real, most artists aren’t blind, which would be their equivalent handicap.
Painting with broad strokes here, I contend that art (for the most part) prior to Beethoven was created with the viewer in mind. It was thoughtful, calculated, and purposeful, usually by commission. People would commission an artist to paint a portrait or a family. The art was created solely with the viewer (or listener as the case may be) in mind.
Honestly, I think that is the better perspective to have. What if all artists painters, sculptors, musicians, whatever the craft, created with their viewer in mind instead of their own personal expression being the paramount objective. I’m sure many artists do paint with their audience in mind, and I think that is great, but what is it you want your audience to know?
What good is art for the sake of egotistical artist expressing themselves, if all they have to express is dark, vile, sinful, disgusting, hurt feelings? I don’t want your personal vomit of gross expression, I don’t want to see it, and I don’t want to buy it.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I paint with a mood, with a feeling, but I always try to keep the viewer in mind. I want my viewers to feel uplifted and hopeful. I paint because I want to encourage those who interact with me and my art.
So this is my charge to all my fellow, fabulous creatives! Be a conscious creator, one who doesn’t just vomit your feelings, bad and ugly, out for your audience. Rather, I encourage you and I dare you to create and promote, what is lovely and of good repute.