A noble dependency

Dear Artist, Recent studies of teenagers’ use of cellphones and other electronic devices have revealed some interesting results. Apparently, if you deprive kids of social networking for a week or so, a high percentage become significantly depressed. They also lose efficiency, will, enthusiasm and sleep. Their marks go down and their lassitude goes up. For many artists, something similar happens when “the work quotient” is taken from their lives. A couple of unproductive days can send some creative folks into the dumps. They may not even be aware of what’s happening to them. “Fear of restart” and permanent creative catatonia can set in after long-term abstinence. Fact is, good easel time is a noble dependency that makes you a happier, more generous person — better able to enjoy an enriched family and social life. Here are a few ways to promote these glad tidings: Self control. While spontaneity is vital in the studio, monitoring easel time and work zones is also valuable. Work periods can be restarted with a gong or the change of a radio program. The “four o’clock reboot,” where you begin something new in the late afternoon (normally a slower time of day), accumulates bonus points, tops up the psyche and makes you more brilliant than Voltaire at the dinner party. Serendipitous bumping. When you put in significant time in the work area, work automatically emerges. Creative tools, studio clutter and half-finished works conspire to attract your attention. Ideas breed and things need to be done. Rather than making a decision to get on with something, merely bump into opportunities. Creative exhibitionism. Just as the boy and girl get their thrills texting across a classroom, connecting your work with others is good for art and life. I’m not talking about dealer action or green feedback. The work itself, in progress or completed, in exchange or not, can be sent by jpeg to global friends in nanoseconds. A critique or approval may be forthcoming, but more often than not it’s just the simple human joy of sharing. “Electronic interdependence,” famously said Marshall McLuhan, “recreates the world in the image of a global village.” While we may operate as independent workers, we are not islands unto ourselves. The Brotherhood and Sisterhood is alive and well and living in cyberspace. Best regards, Robert PS: “It’s a great time to be alive.” (George Lucas) Esoterica: Another way of thinking of art dependency is in co-dependency. Your work needs you as much as you need it. Your work begs your expression. You need to materialize it on a daily basis, from your enriched life — the better side of your nature. Without your personal focus and action, your magic cannot and never will exist. Think of all the great work you have left to do. Think of how necessary it is for people to see good work. “Work,” said Kahlil Gibran, “is love made visible.”   Leave something undone for tomorrow by Dean Drewyer, Leesburg, VA, USA  

“Moosehorn Afternoon”
oil painting 9 x 12 inches
by Dean Drewyer

I knew a wonderful painter who always left some passage in current work for the next day, a passage he was eager to get to — something he would think about in positive terms until he was back to work. This seems to work most often. Degas is supposed to have said, “The problem is not how to paint, it is what to paint.” Implicit in this quote is the “Why to paint?” that is the heart of “What to paint.”   There is 1 comment for Leave something undone for tomorrow by Dean Drewyer
From: Sylvia — Nov 04, 2011

Love the brushwork!

  Two reasons to create art by Brenda Behr, Goldsboro, NC, USA  

“Poppy field 2”
acrylic painting, 9 x 12 inches
by Brenda Behr

You’ve got my number. Like the flowers need the rain, I need to paint. And it’s gone beyond need; it has become a full-blown addiction. When I get down or out-of-sorts, people who know me well ask, “Brenda, when was the last time you painted?” This has been going on for some time. And, for the past two years, via two blogs and a newsletter, I’ve become hooked on sharing my new works. After all, are there not only two reasons we create art, 1) for ourselves; 2) for others?   Kitchen timer by Leonard Skerker, Ann Arbor, MI, USA   I use a kitchen timer (only a dollar at the — you guessed it — dollar store) and set it for half or 3/4 hour. It helps to change direction even after that short a time — maybe stand up and walk around, clean a few brushes, change the music. It also serves the purpose of relieving back and shoulder strain after too long in one position.   A frightening dream by Bill Skuce, Sooke, BC, Canada  

original painting
by Bill Skuce

Part way through a month-long painting workshop at the Instituto de Allende, I had a remarkably vivid dream. In it I was rescued from the brink of annihilation and placed in a large painting studio where I was informed I had to paint to live. I then awoke. There have been a few periods over the years when I have been delinquent to that dream’s dictum. But painting as “a noble dependency” seems to echo the words of my dream and has proven itself true in my life; moreso lately, and in ways I would not have expected, now that I am a good deal closer to the threshold of my journey’s end.   There are 2 comments for A frightening dream by Bill Skuce
From: Jen Lacoste, Cape Town — Nov 04, 2011

Great colours, Bill.

From: barbara — Nov 04, 2011

In this painting I see light and warmth at the end of the shadows…My favorite place to go in a painting! Keep up the good work!

  Almost ready to give it all up by Karen Martin Sampson, Sayward, BC, Canada  

“Jeremy & Jessica in the Caledon Hills”
oil painting, 36 x 72 inches
by Karen Martin Sampson

I broke my ankle in August and was laid up for a couple of months and could not get out to my studio (it is quite a distance to get to when on crutches and the weather is wet). Now that I can finally hobble out here I am finding I have “artist’s block” and just can’t seem to get rolling again. I had a nice monetary prize and acceptance in three shows of importance to me recently for work done well before my accident. It would be a great momentum to build on but I am not able to do anything worthwhile right now and I am becoming quite depressed by it. I have been here before so I know it should pass but while going through it I have this tendency to feel that everything I ever did or will do is worthless and why bother, yada, yada, yada (goes my brain). I am making myself come out here and put paint on canvas, do some sketches for some painting ideas and am hoping the sense of enthusiasm comes back — soon! Right now I almost feel I could give it all up and take up cooking… or something. There are 6 comments for Almost ready to give it all up by Karen Martin Sampson
From: Anonymous — Nov 03, 2011

You will eventually sail through these artistic doldrums. Recuperate and then joy will fill your sails again. In the meantime force yourself to sketch in your sketchbook; uninspired sketches are still sketches. ;-)

From: Anonymous — Nov 04, 2011
From: Cyndie Katz — Nov 04, 2011
From: Anonymous — Nov 04, 2011

Dear Karen, I hear you Sister!!! (smiling!) We live in the Pacific Northwest, where the rain invades our dilusion that our beautiful summers might never end after-all. And being artists, we are certainly inspired by the warmth of the sun! You, dear friend, have so much to offer! Remember this: There are seasons in an Artists’ life too. Let this “winter” be a time for sleep. Within that sleep time, be reminded that REST comes to rejuvinate us for Spring, and Hope Springs Eternal!!! You have it, and it will return. Give yourself permission to rest, and regenerate! I, being one of many, LOVE your work!

From: lorraine Stiefenhofer — Nov 04, 2011

I have been there, too…many times. I’m almost out of one of those danged transitional periods now, but often afraid to put paint to canvas. Solution? I bought a little Buddha Board. I call it my painting primer. It’s a doodling way to work some things out without the mess of paper, paint, pencil…any mess to clean up. If I want to save an image, I simply snap it with my iPhone, otherwise it just disappears when dry. I saw one for the first time a couple of weeks ago at my fav art supply store. Imagine! A little tablet that only requires person power and water!

From: Nancy Cantelon — Nov 30, 2011

Karen, when I saw your painting “Creamed” I felt inspired to look up your work on the ‘net; your art and accomplishments are very impressive! Keep at it, even if for now all you can manage are quick sketches while seated. This, too, shall pass:-)

  Late afternoon reboot? by Carol Dayton, Marana, AZ, USA   The late afternoon “reboot” must only apply to those living alone, or who are men. Late afternoon requires for many of us, not living alone and who are female, the following tasks: feed the dog, clear the table and dish drainer, start the dinner, etc, etc, etc. Who among us has the luxury of an artistic reboot? Only those who have someone else, presumably not an artist or a worker themselves, preparing the evening meal, or who don’t eat. Artistic endeavors must be wedged into those “free” hours when no-one needs tending, housework done, birds fed, etc, etc And then there’s paid work… Even retired, with kids blessedly finally flown, my day is not entirely my own. There are 14 comments for Late afternoon reboot? by Carol Dayton
From: Danielle — Nov 04, 2011


From: Casey Craig — Nov 04, 2011

…and monitoring homework :)

From: Susan Avishai — Nov 04, 2011

1. prepare foods that take less time 2. cook on weekends 3. engage those who eat with you to help in prep 4. eat later As a woman I completely understand the idea of “wedging art into the hours when no one else needs tending” but when you raise the priority of your art you’ll find yourself still able to do the rest with more energy and efficiency, less frustration, and far more joy. If you don’t own your day now, when will you?

From: Pamela Simpson Lussier — Nov 04, 2011

Hi Carole, You are retired, the kids are not there. Most of your day is your own. Shortly after I began my professional career in earnest (because I was a single mom now with 3 children). I married an artist who had 3 children and yes we were the Brady Bunch. I had to give up my studio for his boys to have a bedroom. I remember preparing a for an important solo show in the side yard. The mailman checked on my progress everyday. I had kids to bring to private school, kids to pick up in the next town in the afternoon,so they didn’t have to change schools, kids to bring to activities. Couldn’t afford take out so I had to cook meals from scratch everyday. They did all help with chores etc. and a cleaning lady came once every two weeks to make sure the kitchen and bathrooms were done to a grown ups standard. I learned to get a lot done in the middle of the day. Consistant 3 or 4 hours of painting 5 days a week can produce much. I did the business stuff at night and in between I enjoyed my creative brood. You truly have most of your day to choose what you will do when, you are your own boss. You can choose to be happy with what you have.

From: Art First — Nov 04, 2011

dog is optional, birds are optional, meal can be self-sufficient – eg sandwich…I think that you are making up work for yourself to escape from the responsibility of your art. That may be a tough tryuth to face, but needs to be done.

From: Lynn — Nov 04, 2011

I use the same excuses when I am avoiding going to the studio. I don’t seem to recolonize it until there are no dust bunnies under any bed in the house. Over the years my solution is to go back to planning my days like I did when I was in “Corporate America”. That way, I can create painting time, just like I create time for cleaning, cooking and all the other duties I have given myself over the years. You will find your way back to your studio. When you do, it will be worth the wait.

From: Kate Pearce — Nov 04, 2011

I am a grandma, which is wonderful. However, I recently took on the full-time care of my (now) 8 months old extremely active grandson. It is a long day, ten and a half hours, Monday to Friday. I must have forgotten what taking care of a small child all day long entails, as I foolishly thought I could get some painting time in! His naps are not long at all, I have tried to paint during that time, but barely seem to squeeze out the paint, pick up a brush and try to get into it, when he is up again needing to be watched continually. By the time the weekend comes, I have such cabin fever, and I am behind on personal tasks, shopping etc. that no art is getting made then either, or not much! Help! Are there any younger artists out there with small children who can give me some tips, hope, encouragement? I enjoy my grandson, but I am totally frustrated and cranky about my lack of easel time. What to do???

From: Pamela Simpson Lussier — Nov 04, 2011

I painted very little between the time my oldest was born and my youngest turned 6. I did homeschool those years so maybe it was worse for me. Babies and very young children need all your attention. Maybe if you are able, you can hire a little help a few days a week just so you don’t go crazy. I was homeschooling but at some point I hired someone to help me about 12 hours a week when I felt ready to start painting again. That was before I went full time. I put the kids in school when I started painting full time. I painted some in watercolor when the kids were in diapers so that I didn’t get too messy.

From: MARTI — Nov 05, 2011

Kate, I too am a grandma who has had to take over the care of a grandchild. My sons illness necesitates help with their two year old. I finally put my painting on the kitchen counter and the watercolor pallette in the top drawer. I paint in small spurts all day long…….two minutes while waiting for the potatoes to boil……..20 minutes during nap time……five minutes while waiting for dinner. I also take him to daycare for two mornings a week…..I wish I could say I used all of that for painting….but alas….life is not that simple. At the end of the day, I feel good to have been able to care for my grandson……..my art is important to me…..but his good care is even more so. There will be time to paint later, and these important formative preschool years cannot be repeated. Good luck…….love on…….

From: J. Bruce Wilcox — Nov 07, 2011

Well- as I knew would happen- a female decides to make her comment’s gender-based/biased. I’m male and I live alone- by choice- because every relationship I ever entered got in the way of my art production- so I pretty much gave up on that. Few women have even the vaguest notion that relationship is not the end-all be-all that society claims it to be. So if I want to I CAN have an afternoon reboot. But I also can have a middle-of-the-night reboot- or a way-early-in-the-morning reboot- or an any-damn-time-of-the-day/night-reboot- as well. And because I live alone- I still have to prepare all of my own meals- clean the damn studio/livingspace- host a monthly openhouse- hang the next show- and that on top of making art 24/7/365. But by choice- I only have to take care of me. So- ladies- whatever life experience YOU have- YOU CHOSE IT. If you haven’t worked it out so everybody cooks and cleans and does household chores while everybody also works at whatever they’re working at- then YOU are stuck in your centuries-old programming that ONLY YOU CAN CHANGE. Or you can bitch about it. Also- Robert- I take issue with your use of the term co-dependent. There is no spin that you can put on co-dependency that isn’t inherantly negative- because co-dependency is based in the negative outplaying of NEED. I’ve become ONE with the Creative Process. It is no longer about need. It is interactive- and interdependent- not co-dependent. Must I create in order to stay out of emotional depression hell? Yep. Because it’s what is keeping me alive- and awake- and totally aware. Aware of the Self. Aware of the WHOLE. And when I need to- I still take my own trash out.

From: Never — Nov 11, 2011

J.Bruce Wilcox – I think the reason you are alone is simply because no one would want to be around you – you bitter, angry, curmudgeonly old man. You are the one throwing gender around. And your gigantic, pretentious ego.

From: Patsy, Antrim — Nov 15, 2011

Thank you, Never; you said it for me. I have had it up to here with J Bruce’s sour comments.

From: J. Bruce Wilcox — Nov 20, 2011

The reason I’m alone is I don’t need a ‘wife’. Thanks. The other reason I’m alone is that I metaphysically outgrew most of my gay brothers more than 20 years ago- and few have caught up. So be over me all you want. I’m just telling you a truth about you- you don’t want to hear. The intentional hermit- who is radiating an enormous amount of PRESENCE- doesn’t need your petty relationships all that much. But I’m still having a lot of sex. In the last 2 days I’ve had conversations with 2 different men who both said the women in their lives totally screwed them over. You women have no clue how dramatically you are alienating the men around you. One day you will all pay for it- because your men will no longer have anything to do with you.

From: Nancy Cantelon — Nov 30, 2011

…rolling right along here…LOL… I guess I’m fortunate to be married to another artist. He GETS it, when, as today, I decided to go down to the dock to take photos of crows for reference material. The fresh air and seascape are bonuses:)

  Production slows as meaning becomes crucial by Scott Kahn, NY, USA  

“April In Old Lyme”
oil painting, 30 x 36 inches
by Scott Kahn

The ‘in between’ times for artists, I’m sure, are different for every individual. At the moment… actually, for the last two months!… I have been ‘in between paintings.’ Quite frankly, it’s a form of torture. Two months is an unusually long period of abstinence for me. I’m used to these times, knowing that eventually the muse will strike and that I’ll get back to work. For me, it’s crucial to have a strong impulse to paint, a strong motivation. If that is not there from the very start, how can I expect the viewer to be compelled to look at my work? I don’t think it’s wise to manufacture a painting, just for the sake of working. One can look in every nook and cranny and devise all kinds of strategies to get to work. But if the impulse isn’t truly there, the painting will lack power. I’m a mature artist. I have a studio full of inventory. I’m in no rush to paint to increase my production. I have plenty of paintings which are saleable. At this point in my life, it’s more important to paint compelling, meaningful pictures than to paint just to work or fill my time or drug myself. I don’t want to leave any more duds behind. I’ve already painted enough duds. I want to give each and every painting everything I’ve got. I don’t want to let it go until I’m completely satisfied… that I’ve carried it as far as I can. This is actually a luxury at this point in my life… to have this kind of freedom… to take my time. Increased production is a concern of youth. One learns to slow down as one gets older. Yes, we are dependent on our work, as a drug addict is dependent on his drugs. But it’s crucial to have a reason to paint, to be inspired and motivated, to be moved, before one puts brush to canvas. There are 2 comments for Production slows as meaning becomes crucial by Scott Kahn
From: Marsha Hamby Savage — Nov 04, 2011

Scott, I understand not wanting to paint “duds.” But, do you expect that every time you do put brush to canvas that it will be a “winner” for want of a better word to describe? I believe in slowing down and trying to paint meaningful paintings, but once I start a painting, muse takes over … most of the time. I enjoy the process and the thinking part, besides the motivation and inspiration parts. I am one of those that says, as Robert does, “go to your room!”

From: Tatjana — Nov 04, 2011

Thanks for the very important reminder Scott. And thanks for the reminder of spring in your painting.

  A mandate for integrity by Judith D. Dupree, Pine Valley, CA, USA   I am primarily a poet (although my roots go back to significant art-expression). I have been on the receiving end of your letter for some years, and perceive it as a sort of “coded” message. It tweaks into language I understand and ingest as a writer. It has been a mainstay. The arts are all interconnected, so inseparable — and that is celebratory, isn’t it?! Your word today is a waker-upper to anyone bound to creativity. The call is dependent upon the answer, yes. If the river is bled off in too many directions, the flow turns to dribble. I have often allowed that. Thanks for the call back to noble dependency. A mandate for the integrity of whatever treasure lies beneath the turbulence? Is it too “poetic” to name it “the hidden springs”? Probably, but it feels so. May we learn to live within this thirst!   Come to work every day by Kittie Beletic, Dallas, TX, USA  

“The blues”
original painting
by Kittie Beletic

Spontaneity is such a gift! It acts with inspiration and so many fun ideas and results come from it. I can usually stimulate it through my trusted muses and of course, the best is when it happens on its own. However, the greatest gift I have given myself is the vow to come to my work every day! That might sound banal or trite but it works like a miracle. Some of my best work has come from showing up and surrendering to what is before me. There is a range of results that can occur, from experimentation to seeing my art piece with new eyes, from cleaning out old supplies and creating order in my work space to getting everything out so I can see what new technique I can invent! The habit of work is like breathing; it is the life force that brings me through, even when I am feeling blue. We are faithful to each other, my art and I. This habit has birthed whole series of paintings and writing and musical scores. The residual effect is solid satisfaction and the underscoring of my artist self. I am able to fully understand what it means to create. Best of all, it affects every part of my life, enhancing it, deepening it. I am grateful to be a part of this noble dependency. We serve each other well. There are 2 comments for Come to work every day by Kittie Beletic
From: Cyndie Katz — Nov 04, 2011

Beautifully put. Very inspirational. Thanks! C.

From: Anonymous — Nov 08, 2011

Very true!! I also write and get a bit impatient with those who say you have to wait for the muse to come to you to keep it “true”. As you say, it’s a collaborative and mutual process – why would muse keep knocking without my putting in the time as well?


Archived Comments

Enjoy the past comments below for A noble dependency

From: Daniela — Oct 31, 2011

Kahlil Gibran, I can’t help thinking, meant something more serious, than the self indulgent nonsense of our er, culture, when he said, “Work, is love made visible.”

From: Susan Kellogg, Austin, TX — Nov 01, 2011

My bumper sticker: “Art is therapy is art is therapy is art is therapy is art is therapy…..”

From: Suzette Fram — Nov 01, 2011

We all have a great need to be connected with others, both personally and as artists. Isolation is a great problem for anyone living alone. It goes beyond having someone to talk to, we need to feel that we belong, that we are loved, that we are important. As artists, this is especially so. Lynda Lambert (Pensylvania artist, Professor of Fine Art and Humanities; poet; author) once said: “Our paintings are not whole until they are seen by the viewers; our poems are not complete until a reader speaks them aloud”. We do not paint just for ourselves, we need to share our work with others and get feedback. That is how we stay connected and purposeful. That is what keeps us going.

From: Alison DeArment — Nov 01, 2011

I don’t care if greed is good or not. Work is better.

From: Bianka Guna — Nov 01, 2011

Thank you for making it into a “noble depencency ” , we – me and my artist friends- were thinking more on the OCD line , ha-ha-ha! A pleasure to read your newsletters, Robert!!!

From: Sonia Gadra — Nov 01, 2011

I look at my easel time as a necessity for my well being. Kind of like brushing my teeth in the morning, doing my exercises, eating my meals. Painting for me is therapy, no need for a shrink as long as I’m painting. I put in on my schedule and just “do it”! Frederick, Maryland

From: Jackie Knott — Nov 02, 2011

Far more an obsession with me than a mere dependency. I’ve been preoccupied with a writing project for almost three months (which satisfies another one). I recently blissfully entered my studio and could almost hear this room welcome me, my brushes and easel, “We’ve missed you.” Almost with an accusatory tone? After so long it was still so easy to slip into the familiar rhythm of stretching a canvas, laying out the composition, toning the canvas …. ahhhh. God, this feels good! This studio is a refuge, a bunker where nothing else can enter in. The mind work is so consuming all else is forgotten. Today, paint, and paint ….

From: Rick Rotante — Nov 02, 2011

I would like to think that when I paint I am being noble. As for a dependency, this is a fact. I wonder if the world sees our endeavors as noble; more importantly, I wonder if we artists see what we do as noble. I can’t say that being a painter necessarily makes me noble in thinking or being. My beliefs come from years of experience and my work isn’t overly noble or say patriotic. Being a painter or artist in general is thought a wonderful way of life, be it only to other artists I suspect. History has shown us artists were miserable, poor, neglected, some completely overlooked. Many were out and out depraved to the general populace while to this day, they remain unsold. This does’t sound noble to me. Nor were these men/women noble in the eyes of their peers I should think. If you were a successful person in life, you would not want to be seen with a poor retched struggling artist. Alas, I feel you got the dependency right, but I fear I don’t struggle with every stroke of my brush to become noble. I leave that to the times when not painting and thinking on world events.

From: Tatjana — Nov 02, 2011

I feel kind of noble when I drive by overpacked shopping mall parking lots on my way to the studio, and know that I will create something today.

From: Earl Erskine — Nov 02, 2011

Your insights over the past many months have been truly inspiring. I paint with a group here in SLC and I’ve provided them your address, etc. You’re very right. When I don’t get to paint for a couple of days, I get cranky.

From: Claudia Roulier — Nov 02, 2011

After a show comes down a group of us artists like to call it “the after the show let down, blues, my art is crap.” It affects span more than non-production. Thanks for the validation.

From: B J Adams — Nov 02, 2011

Having just returned from a trip where I had no time to work makes it harder to begin again. Today is the day to jump in and return to a productive time — to enjoy my full and enriched life. However, reading today’s letter as well as all the Clickbacks from last Friday was worth the time out for the One Liners at the end. They say that starting the day with a laugh encourages creativity…..these did. Washington, DC

From: Pam Mingo — Nov 02, 2011

Sometimes when I’m getting too frustrated in the studio, I find it helpful to just leave for a while. I get on with the other things to do in my life and when I return to the studio (usually the next day) I can easily figure out what to do and have more energy to do it! Toronto

From: Walter McFee — Nov 02, 2011

This pleasant dependency you describe can be close to addiction. Self control keeps it in moderation. As artists, particularly, who work in our studios alone, we need to constantly watch over ourselves as if we were manager and worker combined in the same person. This reflective, managerial mode can be one of the most rewarding areas of our creative life.

From: Figaro’s Garden — Nov 02, 2011

It’s beginning to warp — time that is. Like a racehorse behind the gate, looking forward and not behind. The time warps, the book flips and an elapse of photography is moving quickly through a wormhole. I’ve found my way home – at last – home. No Faust here. Studio arranging anyone?

From: Don Charbonneau — Nov 02, 2011

Time away from the easel allows me to have a deeper connection with this amazing creation…after all aren’t we creating the same painting over and over again — trying always for perfection.

From: Denni Wong — Nov 02, 2011

Yes, the world is getting smaller and smaller and a global village, and we have now just put the seven billionth person on it, many of whom have cellphone cameras to show off our riots, kids and paintings. Grrrr.

From: Lynne Linguini — Nov 02, 2011

I’m in art school. The trouble with this school ( I won’t mention which one) is there is too little easel time. It’s all talk talk talk. Could this be why everyone is stressed?

From: Bernard Victor — Nov 02, 2011

At our local Dulwich Art Gallery (UK) we have at present an exhibition of works by the Group of Seven from Canada. I am really astounded at the wonderful paintings done by this group, particularly by Tom Thompson. He really was a fantastic painter. As well as the finished big paintings there are lots of their pochade sketches, some of which are as good if not better than the studio paintings. A real eye opener and a wonderful show by a group of artists virtually unknown in the UK.”

From: Claude Fitterman — Nov 02, 2011

The longer you go between bouts of work, the more difficult it is to restart your engine.

From: violetta — Nov 02, 2011

I think we all go to art school expecting some higher and noble minded ambiance. I too, found art school to be talk, talk, talk. Some of the students shoved music listening devices in their ears, and, the teachers did not seem to mind. Maybe the idea and the discipline of going to art school is what keeps the noble ideal we carry inside, alive. At least, that is what I found it must be, for me.

From: Kay McCarthy — Nov 04, 2011

Recently, in a long-distance conversation with my daughter, she asked if I was OK. She had detected something in my voice that I had only been minimally aware of…that I sounded just a bit depressed. Looking back on the week I realized that I had let life get in the way of my prescious studio time…again!

From: Penelope Phillips-Armand — Nov 04, 2011

For me, there seems to be a vital tension between working in private and sharing with a public–especially through social media, where I feel stimulated not only by response to my own work, but also by other artists’ examples. I recently painted a young pianist for whom a momentary surprise (in this case, a friendly face or two in the adjoining room, through a window) will most likely add to the brio once she resumes playing. The work was done during a pause in the use of social media. Motz, Savoie, France

From: alice — Nov 04, 2011

With the aproach of blindness due to macular degeneration, I dont know how long I will keep my sanity when I can no longer go to my studio and paint. Along with losing my independence and having to give up driving soon, how does one get through this?????

From: SuSusan Kellogg, Austin, TX — Nov 06, 2011

Good luck. That is really tough. Monet’s palette changed as his eyes aged…I see aging in my “style” and change to accommodate it, with some regret. My lines are shakier, my color is less precise, I have changed to water based media, more collage, etc. Approaching blindness, however, is so tough. Maybe working in small amounts of plasticine will transmute/sublimate the skill of looking to touching? I always thought that drawing was a symbolic means of touching anyway. A friend may appear to help you with this. Good luck on your continuing to work in another medium.

From: Greg Rapier — Nov 06, 2011
From: Liz Darvill — Nov 08, 2011

You know, I think you’re right!! I know that when I pretend that I’m really a lawyer and not an artist my health goes to hell in a hand-basket. It improves when I’m back working with glass in front of a flame or (my new passion) painting in front of an easel.

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Sunken Treasure

acrylic painting, 14 x 15 inches by Teresa Young, Canada

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