The job of art

0
Dear Artist,

Recent research at the National University of Singapore suggests that feelings of job satisfaction may be built into our genes. Certain genes apparently determine how happy we will be at work — while other genes seem to be linked to lower job satisfaction. If our folks were grumpy about their jobs, we too are likely to be grumpy — and maybe even put in a poor performance. In a study of 1,772 people, researchers found that two genetic markers — a dopamine receptor gene and a serotonin transporter gene — are more likely to be found in folks who like what they do.

Why do some of us choose the job of art? Similar to genes linked to leadership and entrepreneurship, some of us may have genes that favour independence and freedom. I used to worry that my need for art had something to do with chronic laziness or that I was incompetent in pretty well everything else. Now I realize picking up a brush had a lot to do with my folks, particularly my dad, who valued ideas, individualism, accomplishments, work habits and craftsmanship. A self-employed kind of guy, for most of his life he happily ran his own sign shop. I always thought it was my environment, but now it seems it may also be hereditary.

More problematic research shows that people need to be a bit nuts to excel, and that nut cases excel particularly well when under stress. But very few of the truly excellent artists I know might be classified as nuts. Underutilization of therapists is widespread in the visual arts. I think it’s because we often prefer to take our own advice, but I may be nuts.

It’s a given that an independent life gives courage to the next generation. Those who do not have this advantage owe it to themselves to hook up with those who do. One might even be able to shake off generations of chartered accountancy or other fields that attract therapists. Art is a job like any other, but it’s also a calling that tests the depths of character. Genes or no genes, the calling should at least be examined. It’s important that we be happy in our work. We’re going to spend a third of our life there. In artists it may be closer to 100%.

The job of art has the beguiling quality of pulling you into it. I’m sure there are lots of professions that do the same, but somehow seeing those first morning glimpses of yesterday’s winnings and losings keeps you coming back for more.

Best regards,

Robert

PS: “Human beings are of two classes: those whose work is work and whose pleasure is pleasure; and those whose work and pleasure are one.” (Winston Churchill)

Esoterica: And what about talent? Is talent inherited? Current researchers don’t think so. The older generation may give energy, example and support to the younger, but the younger has to go about inventing her own wheel. Talent is 99% hard work. Talent takes focus and focus takes character. Unlike a baronetcy, talent is not passed down the generations.



Best job in the world
by Esther J. Williams, Laguna Niguel, CA, USA


090911_esther-williams

“Water lily pond”
original painting by Esther J. Williams

I never thought of it like that, but now that you mention it, I guess I have inherited my mother and father’s free will. My mother was busy with ten children while my father was a vacuum cleaner salesman. After the kids grew up a little, my mother joined my father in the vacuum business. She repaired and polished the vacuums while my dad went out in the field to make sales and service calls. It fed the family and put a roof over our heads. I was taught how to sell things on my own and it did seem to come naturally. Both the art skills and the ability to create items came very naturally. My father brought me butcher paper so I could draw on it at an early age. I have felt it was instilled in me to be an entrepreneur by my parents. If I had a job at a company, I was most unsettled and did not look forward to working for a boss. I was most happy when self-directed in my art and design projects. I had my own business selling flower seeds, potholders and berries when I was young. When I was nineteen, I opened a leather goods shop and did very well. I still work for myself; I do not hold a company job. Yes, I must have that happy dopamine flowing and the serotonin gene delivering it all over in my nervous system. I do not need a drug to get feeling optimistic, I just need to paint. Waking up the next morning to see what I created the day before is an eager jumpstart to everyday. Being a self-employed artist is like nothing else in the world.

There are 3 comments for Best job in the world by Esther J. Williams

From: Tatjana — Sep 08, 2011

Beautiful painting!

From: Ron — Sep 09, 2011

Really like your work and you history.

From: Esther J. Williams — Sep 12, 2011

Thanks to Tatjana and Ron!





Boogying to the music
by Alan Soffer, Wallingford, PA, USA


090911_alan-soffer

“Microcosm I”
encaustic painting by Alan Soffer

Most of my life I have found joy in my work, which functioned as my pleasure too, in both of my careers. Art is so therapeutic for me that it probably does function to nourish the soul. Every day I am challenged in every way to succeed in art. I must say, more rejection and financial problems occur in art than nearly any other business. The adage “don’t leave your day job” surely applies. I do believe that if you are able to be free of economic pressure the art work can flourish. Worrying about pleasing the customer may yield sales, but not necessarily better art. It kind of is the defining issue between art and craft. Craft, in my opinion, is directed for the client’s use, which diminishes the artist’s expression. My dad ran a small business and was extremely grumpy. He switched from engineering to a small wholesale food business during the depression and probably regretted every minute of it. He was a very good primitive painter during his retirement and wrote quite decent poetry his whole life. I, for one, was pretty upbeat and happy in my work as a dentist and then as an artist. Sometimes I can be seen boogying to the music that permeates my studio.

There is 1 comment for Boogying to the music by Alan Soffer

From: Sharon Cory — Sep 09, 2011

Love the painting.





Every day workout
by Louise Francke, NC, USA


090911_louise-francke

“Ebenezer Pond”
watercolour by Louise Francke

Art has come down genetically in my family and continues to go forth. What I find more important is that the doing of it brings one back every day. Recently, I’ve prepped art works for show (now up) — all that inventory stuff — and then my quest to challenge my brain with something looser and more abstract stifled my desire to return to the studio. Fortunately, it wasn’t a long hiatus. Once back, it has driven me forward and I’m doing it again, day after day. Without ART I’m depressed and lost in a dark quagmire. People ask, “How long do you work? I don’t think I ever really stop working — all those down hours are spent observing and thinking. Swimming my morning mile allows me to plan ahead where I will go that day.

There is 1 comment for Every day workout by Louise Francke

From: ALAN SOFFER — Sep 09, 2011

I can relate to the ritualization of your work ethic. It is a way of life, something like a religion.





Enjoy the ride
by Rick Rotante, Tujunga, CA, USA


090911_rick-rotante

“Fresh flowers”
oil painting by Rick Rotante

The idea that my dad was unhappy at his job had more to do with the fact that he had little choice in what profession he would do for his entire life. My dad was first generation American from Italian decent. When he arrived here, my grandfather literally told my dad he was to be a barber and that was that. In those days you obeyed your father and did what you were told to make a living. I am the only artist in the family of my father’s and my generation, and believe me they were not too happy about the prospect of my making art for a “living.”

I’ve been in the arts in one form or another all my life. I started out in the commercial art field and hated it. I moved on to theater and the various forms therein; actor director, stage manager, scene builder. From there it was on to being a successful musician to eventually fine artist.

To say the very least, I was happy doing these “jobs.” All the while my dad performed day in and day out at something he hated to do but he had a wife and two children to feed and house and the old work ethic that is sorely missing today held my dad to a job he did all his life. I don’t believe genes make one like or dislike working. I believe some are taken with industry and drive and some are not. True, if you feel you were given a raw deal at the outset you may feel unhappy at whatever you do, but to his credit, my dad made the most of it and was successful. He was a success because he knew something many don’t; whatever you do, you must make the best of it and make it work for you. Depending on which way you look, today there are opportunities if you only stop feeling sorry for yourself and enjoy the ride. I love what I do and it may be due to my genes. On the surface when growing up, I never got the sense my dad didn’t like what he did because he did it without complaint or visible regret. It was only later, when I was an adult, that the truth became known to me. Credit should be given to those who toil at jobs they hate, but they get up every day to get the job done, many with little joy.

There is 1 comment for Enjoy the ride by Rick Rotante

From: Reggie Sabiston — Sep 09, 2011

I totally agree. More credit should be given to those who toil at jobs they hate!





All in the family
by Angela Treat Lyon, Kailua, Hawaii, USA


090911_angela-lyon

“Carried away by her imagination”
ink on paper
by Angela Treat Lyon

As one in the fourth generation of women artists, I can clearly see how family genes could pass an artistic tendency down. Granny, Ma, aunties, cousins, all women, all painters (pastels, landscapes, portrait artists), and I’m the only one making a living at it, although more as a sculptor than painter. And oh, yes, there’s one cousin who paints duck decoys for Audubon.

My dad was always grumbling about his job; my mom was always complaining about how “hard it is to sell my work” And yet she never once showed at any gallery — she sold to friends and neighbors. It was only after I trained myself out of the “Family Grumble Thinking” that I really started making any sales (It had been kind of like walking along, cutting myself off at the knees as I tried to keep walking).

It’s disheartening to see people so sucked into the something-is-wrong-with-you thinking. Doctors are so quick to diagnose ADD, ADHD or manic-depression, when all it might be is a genius thinking in different lines. My son was diagnosed with a “learning disorder” in the first grade because he read upside down and backwards. Turns out it was because his teacher was reading from her book at the front of the room, and he learned by following her! He spent years feeling humiliated in special education classes, knowing he was as smart, if not smarter and more creative, than the others in his class. He finally broke free in 12th grade and taught himself to read right and graduated in the top of his class. He now has a very successful health clinic.

There are 3 comments for All in the family by Angela Treat Lyon

From: Ruth Spooner — Sep 08, 2011

I love your joyous painting, Angela

From: Petra Voegtle — Sep 09, 2011

Aloha Angela – I absolutely love your way of thinking!!!! THIS is the way! Love your paintings. Petra

From: Lanie Frick — Sep 09, 2011

You ROCK Angela!





Happy-unhappy rollercoaster
by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki, Port Moody, BC, Canada


090911_tatjana-popovicki

“Morning on the beach”
acrylic painting
by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

When I was a child I was very happy drawing, making creative things or reading all the time. Then, when I was not permitted to pursue art education, I became very unhappy. Later engulfed in a non-art career, I was generally mildly unhappy without examining why. I started studying art and understood that my unhappiness was for the lack of art. I became so happy making art again that I was reasonably happy with my non-art career as well. Then, suddenly, all I wanted to do was make art, and I became extremely unhappy with my non-art career. It’s been a rollercoaster ever since, from the situation of loving my art and hating my job, to being content with both, to those dark lows when making art goes into a block and I am glad to have my job. It has become a familiar ride by now and I manage to make a lot of art despite the happy-unhappy rollercoaster. I do have a therapist, though — I think we all do — his name is Bob Genn.

There are 2 comments for Happy-unhappy rollercoaster by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

From: Reggie Sabiston — Sep 09, 2011

I love your painting and wish I could simplify landscapes as you do. I can relate to what you are saying, but now art has taken over my life and I love it so. I have leveled off for the most part.Thank you for sharing your wonderful art!

From: Judy Gosz — Sep 09, 2011

Thank you for sharing your wonderful work and thoughts! I agree with you I feel like Robert is both a therapist and a mentor! Thank you, Robert.





Inherited work habits
by Sandra Bos, Cookeville, TN, USA


090911_sandra-bos

“Still life”
oil painting by Sandra Bos

My dad never missed a day’s work except for the time he had a really bad heart attack. He was a cabinet maker and at one time had his own business creating novelties that were all about the Dutch world. With brush in hand, I remember feeling his presence many times. I wasn’t particularly close with my dad but he gave me a good work ethic and a need to do the best job I could. It most often is in the genes; we inherit work habits.

It’s kind of nice to actually feel the presence and love and appreciate those who have given us these gifts that make our lives more fulfilled. I hope that somehow I am giving my children hope and encouragement, through example, to be true to themselves and maybe a bit more ‘fearless’ and independent as they walk this planet.

There is 1 comment for Inherited work habits by Sandra Bos

From: Win Dinn — Sep 09, 2011

A gorgeous still life, Sandra – it truly glows with energy.





A taste of the good life…
by Karin Snoots, Harbeson, DE, USA


090911_karin-snoots

“Lost on the Back Road”
oil painting
by Karin Snoots

I’m grateful to have part-time work to help make the ends meet, but I don’t find the rewards and satisfaction that I receive at the easel. I had the opportunity to get a “taste” of the good life… painting every day, sun up to sun down, but last winter was very hard, painting sales were down and my husband was on unemployment for a few months. Your letter rang a note of truth to me. My father worked for 35 or more years at a very respectable printing firm. He worked his way up the corporate ladder to become a foreman. Unfortunately, his job was just that — a job, day in and day out. On the other hand, my mother, a wonderful artist, worked at home as a Commercial Artist. I have degrees in both Illustration and Graphic Design, and before making the leap of faith in 2006, worked as a Senior Illustrator for a major corporate firm. My husband and I moved to the beach to follow our dreams, creating a life for ourselves.

I have always found ways to earn money through my art. When in school, my friends worked in retail while I sold pastels in shows and galleries. Now I find myself working retail, but burning the midnight oil at the easel. It’s hard for some folks to understand the deep desire that burns within the creative spirit. Painting provides me with such immense joy. I equate it with the birth of a child — sometimes the labor of love is easy and the brushes seem to work their own magic, yet other times painting is the most intense, most personally challenging thing I could ever imagine doing. Yet the end result is the same. I offer a prayer of thanks at the easel before the beginning of each session. I pray for the focus to stay on the passionate path, to continually raise the bar on my level of ability with the help of the Holy Universal Spirit. Painting is practice. Desire — that’s different. It takes a huge amount of desire to push through fears of failure and frustration to pursue the passion to create. I was once told by a fellow artist not to quit my day job… Well, I’m not stupid, health insurance is expensive, but I’m not giving up. I tell myself that the galleries representing my art believe in me, so I do too!

There are 2 comments for A taste of the good life… by Karin Snoots

From: Celeste Gober — Sep 09, 2011

Beautiful work Karin! I live in a coastal N.J. area and you have perfectly captured every aspect of it.

From: Norma — Sep 09, 2011

I love this Karin! Thanks for sharing.





Comments

comments




 Featured Workshop: Barry John Raybould
090911_robert-genn5
Barry John Raybould workshops

The Workshop Calendar provides up-to-date selected workshops and seminars arranged in chronological order. 
 



  World of Art Featured artist Ion Vincent DAnu, QB, Canada
090611_ion-danu

Couple

acrylic ink painting 12 x 9 inches
by Ion Vincent DAnu, QB, Canada



You may be interested to know that artists from every state in the USA, every province in Canada, and at least 115 countries worldwide have visited these pages since January 1, 2013.

That includes Paol Serret of Australia, who wrote, “Art is work… selling it is art.”

And also Diane Overmyer of Wakarusa, IN, USA, who wrote, “I haven’t worked a single day since I have been working full time as an artist!”

And also Barbara Wild of Sherwood, OR, USA, who wrote, “Looking back into my family’s makeup I find that almost half were involved in the arts, while the other half were in one of the helping professions. None of us are particularly ‘nuts,’ but the happiest ones are definitely passionate about their work.”



Archived Comments

Enjoy the past comments below for The job of art

   
From: Daniela, Australia — Sep 06, 2011

Today I began drawing again, after a period of no inspiration to pick up a brush. A very good artist told me this is how she gets back on board. As I did some sketching, I thought to myself that the reason we do art has a much deeper need attached to it — the constant jumble of imagery in our minds needs defining structure, putting it out there makes us feel whole again, because there is a feeling of better understanding of our lives when we come away calm after doing some art,just as childrens stories give identity and structure to their jumbled imagery. For those who do not create, there is the need to shop — what for — for design, shape, structure that defines and makes us feel we exist in a context of wellbeing.

From: Suzette Fram — Sep 06, 2011

I have been retired for 5 years now. I always wanted to paint full time and yet, now that I can, I do not. I don’t paint when I don’t feel like it. I often feel that if I forced myself to paint every day, even when I don’t feel like it, it would become like a job, and wouldn’t be fun anymore. There’s a difference between doing something because you have to, and because you want to, even if you do love your job. So perhaps for me, painting is not like a job, but more than a wonderful thing that I do, even if I do it every day like a job.

From: Darla — Sep 06, 2011

So what do we sad sacks who are grumpy about what we do, do to feel better? Chocolate’s good, but too much of that makes you fat, and then you feel even worse. Any ideas are welcome.

From: Paul Schulenburg — Sep 06, 2011

Creating art can make you feel very happy when it turns out well. It can make you miserable and frustrated when it turns out badly. I told a group of high school art students this past fall that if they want to go to art school because they think it will be and cool and easy and they won’t have to work hard- think again. If they go to law school with the same approach they may become starving lawyers instead of starving artists. You have to show up and get the work done to make it work. If it is your hobby, that’s fine. If it is your full time occupation you have to treat it that way. You may feel very grumpy some days but probably less grumpy than if you had to work some other job that you really hate. Be thankful that you get to do what you want to do. If you are working a job you don’t like in order to keep painting- look forward to your creative time and use it wisely. Working hard to do your art shouldn’t feel like hard work if you love it. Like a sport, you try and give it all you’ve got. Most of the fun is in the participation, not in winning. It’s good to just be in the game.

From: Bernard Poulin — Sep 06, 2011
From: Sandra Taylor Hedges — Sep 06, 2011

I liked your comment about under use of therapists, the only time I need to start looking for a therapist is when I don’t have time to make my Art. I spent years working hard in business and went crazy, I had money but was a wreck. I gave it up to paint and now I am sane and broke, but much happier. Not all Artists will see riches from their art, but their art is the riches they leave behind.

From: Marilyn — Sep 06, 2011

Art work is a theraputic adventure for me. I’m not particularly great with the brush or pastel but when I need to “lose myself,” the studio and art seems to be the answer. My father was a gun smith and he made gorgeous gun stalks. The carvings were fantastic. I watched the progress from beginning to finish. My mother decorated cakes like a professional, and without formal schooling in this art. If this gave me rise to start creating on paper at an early age, maybe. But, most of all the pleasure derived from re-creating what I see and creating what I don’t see is most pleasurable and rather addictive.

From: Fredericks — Sep 06, 2011

I told myself when I painted that I was self critical because it was my way to grow. I told myself that by looking for negative issues I was learning to recognize weaknesses and thusly raising my own personal bar of growth a little higher. Could it be that that was nothing more then a way of explaining something deeper and that at heart I was really a self critical old codger. Could it be that I painted to release a negative reservoir of self destructive thoughts? To be honest, I don’t see it that way. Could it be that that is an inherent danger of painting in waters? Interestingly, when I moved across panel to acrylics I discovered the joy in painting that wasn’t there before. And you know what? I continue to grow without the burden of self critiicsm I once had. So why do I paint then? Search me. I guess I paint because in the end, I love what I do.

From: Dwight — Sep 06, 2011

I can’t tell you how many students I’ve told, if it’s not fun give it up. Art is not always successful but there needs to an underlying fun or it’s not worth doing. After decades of this I say..Have fun or quit!!

From: Violetta — Sep 06, 2011

Art does not always make me feel happy, and I need a certain quiet and narcissistic “in dwelling” for it to happen. If I am angry, trying to do art will turn into angry work I want to disown, and I’ll sink into ingrained grumpiness. Chocolate is definitely therapeutic, I like pure cocoa powder with roasted seeds and honey and butter spread generously on toast… If I examine what is going on inside of me when I am like this, it is usually a feeling of being unsupported, if I try to think at the end of a brush and all this need is going on inside of me, well, I have to validate it so that all the imagery that comes into my emotional self is brighter and friendlier, to me. ( I wonder if this makes sense, often my words don’t marry what I want to express, I think.)

From: Francine Harvey — Sep 07, 2011
From: Marvin Humphrey, Napa Valley — Sep 07, 2011

Robert, I doubt that you would be incompetent in any other endeavor. Your exceptional writing skills reveal your up-beat attitude and intelligence. And yes, we avocados don’t fall very far from the tree.

From: Dar Hosta — Sep 07, 2011

This is one of your best posts ever.

From: Jackie Knott — Sep 07, 2011

Who has blissfully stumbled through life and figured he or she wouldn’t have to work to accomplish anything of value? Since when? It doesn’t matter if it is art or any other occupation. When have you felt the most satisfaction? Not those days you skate through the day and get paid for minimum effort. No, we feel greater satisfaction when we apply ourselves and receive little more compensation than to know we’ve done a good job. It’s a work ethic. I’ve never heard of any artist pursue their passion with the conviction they would receive acclaim and wealth — more often than not we garner neither. I am pursuaded we still would make our art knowing beforehand it would be a struggle. We should define “job” before we decide our art is such. Even with the inherent frustration that comes with the profession we still love it enough to do it regardless. Job? I much prefer to think of art as a life vocation.

From: Sandra L. Sibley — Sep 07, 2011

While artistic talent may not be inherited, I do believe such traits as visual, spatial and kinesthetic intelligence are in the genes — not to mention math intelligence, as geometry and other math calculations figure into art as well. That’s not to say that a person can’t train him/herself to be a talented artist; but I do believe there’s a genetic predisposition to the intelligence art requires.

From: Kate Eifler — Sep 07, 2011

I enjoy the “pull” and do think this happens in other professions. Yesterday, while driving down the mountain from the studio listening to NPR, they were talking with a Maori woman soon to perform here, who is an opera singer. When students ask why she chose to sing opera, she replies that it chooses you, not you choosing it.

From: Paula Timpson — Sep 07, 2011

Creating is breathing Light, Love, Hope Forever is early morning a pure baptism for the heart and soul of life, re~born everyday!

From: Bill — Sep 07, 2011

I do not understand the following sentence, taken directly from the September 6, 2011 newsletter “One might even be able to shake off generations of chartered accountancy or other fields that attract therapists.” How does one’s professional field, whether “handed down” or not, “attract” therapists?

From: Cathy Stewart — Sep 07, 2011

I have worked in the mental health/addictions field for over forty years,the last six of those years in Nunavut Territory. I have been an artist for the past eight years,have had one show and am selling quite a lot without trying. Still, I struggle with meaning and purpose as an artist as opposed to being a mental health consultant. Your letters and particularily this one, will help to change those neuropathways as you give an inspiring message that resonates with me.

From: Anne Collum — Sep 07, 2011

Now retired from the 9 to 5 job. I never looked forward daily to what I did to support myself, even though I was successful enough to do well. It is my art that has kept me grounded and coming back for more challenge for decades. You might say I worked to support my art habits, as the art market has not been my friend financially. Maybe the reason I keep trying is I can’t seem to master the art of being a financially successful artist. Don’t misunderstand I don’t paint looking for profit, but the stuff does pile up after a while and it would help your feelings to sell along the way.

From: Claude Ambollet — Sep 07, 2011

Ben .. c’est bien ..qu’il y ait eu encore des hébergements possibles..j’avais un peu peur que ce soit pris d’assaut !! à bientôt !!Bizzz

From: Jen Lacoste — Sep 07, 2011

Your letter today brought home just how different our worlds are… particularly the phrase under-utilization of therapist. Over here in Southern Africa, ANY utilization of therapists is enough to have one classified as a nut!

From: violetta — Sep 07, 2011

To Francine Harvey: tried loading fh-art.net and my anti virus tells me it is infected.

From: Janet Badger — Sep 08, 2011

If talent isn’t inherited, explain Andrew and Jamie Wyeth, Giovanni and Domenico Tiepolo, my great-Aunt Josephine and Me!

From: Richard Fullerton — Sep 08, 2011

Hi Bill — One theory might be — the accountant is a problem solver making cents into dollars. Money, being the root of all evil [idiom]one has to wonder if he/she ever really pulls up to smell the roses? Art is therapy — we have courses on the subject.

From: Lucie — Sep 08, 2011

S’il vous plaît, mon ami, qui a pris l’assaut et où, prier dire est la crainte ? Pouvez-vous expliquer vos mots ?

From: Jenny Linn Loveland — Sep 10, 2011

Am enjoying this forum as a recent subscriber. Just left another job (journey-of-bondage) that I found exhausting. In high school, never was able to reconcile making a living with doing art. I believe the mystery surrounding art making is revealed to us through commitment and developing a practice for sticking to it, and it may be due to nature, or nurture. There is no one way. My dad was a closet architect, always had tools and plenty of drawing materials around, and was generous in allowing his kids to make use of these things. He was a military man and may have wanted to do something else, but the times were such that his choices led him to other paths. I followed a similar road, but never forgot that he always encouraged me to draw. I just lacked ‘vision’, commitment, and likewise, made other choices. However, starting in 2000 I began drawing, then painting, and experienced the mystery, poetry, and wonder of the process. This did not result in commitment though, so I continued to earn a living wage in management roles until now. Not sure what’s changed — age, knowledge that the kids are okay, but am in a reset to discover my sense of play, and build skills once again. My working plan is to finish setting up my studio and to be in it rather than running to a lot of art events and groups. To be still and work in order to bond w/the place and the act of making art. I’ve no idea what will be, but the mystery of it beckons, and a new adventure awaits in the forest. Am having false starts, but am keeping the faith too. I’ve shared w/a couple of close friends that I am ‘entering the forest’ — I’ve known them a long time, so they didn’t laugh too loud anyway! Have an intense need to be in my own space so I might capture and develop my own voice. Reading the entries from Robert, and all, believe I’ve discovered a forum where my ‘inner workings’ have solidity and resonate. I may be too human, but it’s good to know I’m keeping good company.

From: Colin T Bell — Sep 11, 2011

I always believed I had inherited right-brain genes from both sides of my family: My maternal grandmother and aunt played the piano and my aunt painted watercolours and miniature portraits on ivory. On my father’s side my grandmother and aunt played the piano and sang, whereas my uncle and great-uncle both were semi-professional painters in oils. I grew up learning to play first the accordion and then the piano, and after taking art prizes at school was given private art lessons, which led to a lifelong interest in and production of art. I thoroughly believe that I could “see” shapes, designs and compositions better than my peers, who could not quite understand why I was less adept at “seeing” mathematics and mechanics. I really believe genes lead to right-brain or left-brain preferential development. I eventually had to pass mathematics, physics, chemistry, structural design and mechanical systems to become an architect. This allowed me to lead a “normal” life and eventually enjoy a pension, but my image of heaven remained as having a smell of turpentine.

   
Share.

Robert and Sara Genn Twice-Weekly Letters

Subscribe and receive the Twice-Weekly letter on art. You’ll be joining a worldwide community of artists.
Subscription is free.