Eccentricity

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Dear Artist,

The two main types of eccentricity are “genuine” and “phony.” If you’re sensitized to human nature, you’ll find excellent examples of both types among your friends. Then there’s the grey area where some folks start out phony and end up genuine. But that’s another story.

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“Egbert Oudendag”
acrylic on canvas, 11 x 14 inches
by Robert Genn

The phony ones lead such dull lives that they find the need to cook up stuff to make themselves stand out. The genuine ones come by eccentricity quite naturally — often unaware of their own idiosyncrasies. Eccentricity is the sidecar to the powerful motorcycle of individualism. Anyone who has read my stuff will know individualism is a good thing.

My friend Egbert Oudendag (1914-1998) was of the genuine kind, becoming even more genuine as he aged. Dining exclusively on spare ribs and grapefruit, owning up to nine bicycles at a time, eschewing the medical profession and painting while in the nude were just a few of his peculiarities. Egbert appeared poor and simple but was wealthy and smart. Our mutual bank manager thought him “mad.” I wrote a short chapter about Egbert in “Love Letters to Art.

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“White Rock beach”
oil on board, 24 x 20 inches
by Egbert Oudendag

The controversial American journalist Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) defined madness as “affected with a high degree of intellectual independence; at odds with the majority; in short, unusual. It is noteworthy that persons are pronounced mad by officials destitute of evidence that they themselves are sane.”

Egbert opened all his freshly purchased oils from the back end of the tube and cut in significant quantities of a secret oily brew. This gave him the longest and most languid stroke I’ve ever seen. His inventiveness in so many areas stemmed from his disadvantaged background in Holland before he immigrated to Canada. Eccentricity, coupled with need as the mother of invention, defines style. Egbert had style.

Eccentricity is getting more difficult to fake. In what appears to be a rebirth of artistic responsibility, we are honouring craft and proficiency, as well as individual initiative. Conservative waves are spilling over the shaky dikes. We might just be left with empowered eccentrics who quietly make their own genuine articles. Eccentrics work. They think things out. They ride many bikes. This is a good thing.

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“Haystack Rock”
oil on board
by Egbert Oudendag

Best regards,

Robert

PS: “Eccentricity is a method of distinction so cheap that fools employ it to accentuate their incapacity.” (Ambrose Bierce)

Esoterica: Truly creative people are perennially in a state of reinventing themselves. Anyone who cares to focus for a time on any difficult task is bound to exhibit elements of eccentricity. Artists need to take stock of what they are doing that’s different from the norm — peculiarities of mixing, drawing, stroking, looking. Name them and claim them. We must see our uniqueness clearly and be prepared to go wherever it takes us. So what if it involves taking your clothes off? That’s the way we were born, eh?

 


Creativity killers
by Sally Brucker, Takoma Park, MD, USA
 

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“Self-Portrait – Triptych”
by Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon thought alcoholism fed his eccentricity. He is one of my favorite eccentric artists. Madness can feed eccentricity but do be careful about distinguishing between the two, as alas, they are quite different. Madness and creativity do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. As an art therapist who runs a Studio program for those living with mental illness, I can say that with assurance. Demons and depression are creativity killers. Check out the American Visionary Art Museum of Baltimore if you want to see the work of true eccentrics!

 



There are 3 comments for Creativity killers by Sally Brucker

From: Darla — Apr 03, 2009

I think there is a biological reason that creativity is associated with eccentricity, disorganization and other expressions of behavioral chaos. To be creative, you do a lot of lateral thinking, your brain making connections between things that ordinarily don’t go together. This is opposed to the kind of serial, straight line, conventional thinking that goes from step one to step two and so on. That is why artists often have trouble with organization. As far as being eccentric goes, artists are often concerned with getting the results they want rather than following the accepted procedures for getting what everyone else wants. So maybe if your friend wanted to keep paint off his clothes, he took them off while he painted instead of wearing an apron! Makes sense to me!

From: ClovisRothchild — Mar 17, 2012

Good to finally find a solid link.. I think eccentricity may also be a sort of phenomenon that is in your genetics, and can be induced or triggered by an individuals free thinking. However I feel someone with this condition who relys too heavily on other peoples thoughts or ideals, may simply lose some of the benifits. Who knows what problems it may cause after that? I am still fairly young, but I feel I understand my eccentricities and I embrace them. It is very hard at times though…..

ClovisRothchild@Gmail.com

From: Ana Von Laush — Apr 12, 2012

Yeah it must be partly in our genes. A capacity to be intellectul is in our genes and it is a base of my eccentricity. I always do my own thing and dont care what others think. I am a loner too. I love to stare at my garden plants and I love to observe insects. I dont sleep at home even though I am married. I couldnt get enough sleep because my husband wakes up all night and I decided that I would sleep in my shop. I dont follow anything anyone else does. If they shower and smell nice I dont care, I dont shower for days and in order to smell good I wipe myself with a clean cloth and sprinkle on me some cologne. Then I just wash my hair and I look as good as anyone else. I am super frugal and can live on very little money. It is just the way I am, I am not immitating anyone. My mind is always active and I live in my own world and have incredible dreams too. My brother is just like me and we had one granma who was also very eccentric and she was well off too.

 


Eccentric Auntie Mame
by Beth Deuble, San Diego, CA, USA
 

040309_auntie-mame-photo

Rosalind Russell
as Auntie Mame

Kizmet! Just writing in my own journal this evening and mentioned one of my favorite eccentric characters, Auntie Mame (Rosalind Russell’s tour de force role). Reportedly, the character of Auntie Mame was based on Patrick Dennis’s real-life aunt, Marian Tanner. She was a good-natured eccentric, who lived to be nearly one hundred years old. Ms. Tanner’s advice to those seeking a more interesting, adventurous life was to never be afraid to try a new experience and to keep an open mind about everything and everybody. During this economic downturn I encourage people to view this wonderful 1958 film: “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!” Anyone for martinis and rattlesnake appetizers?!

 


Madness and eccentricity
by Roland Ford, Baltimore MD, USA
 

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“Cubist nude”
oil painting
by Roland Ford

Whether it’s true or not, most of my friends have described me as eccentric which is actually a misnomer. If I were financially secure as a result of my art I could be declared eccentric here in the USA. But as I am financially near the poverty line I can only be described as “mad.” I believe there is no difference between the two concepts, mad and eccentric, the difference stemming from the semantics of a particular social structure.

 

 

 



There is 1 comment for Madness and eccentricity by Roland Ford

From: Dayle Ann Stratton — Apr 03, 2009

I think perhaps the distinction is between “odd” and “eccentric”. Though poor, I get away with eccentric because I am, here anyway, a recognized artist. If I didn’t make art, I’d simply be odd, period. If I had more money, I might be an eccentric who makes art and has stuff I don’t need. Either way, I feel pretty comfortable in my skin and with my thoughts and emotions. But madness is another matter. I am, eccentric though I am, blessed with good mental health. I have a friend, also an artist, who suffers from sometimes severe mental illness. When she is in remission, she can make art. When she is ill, she is immobilized in misery. Her illness is such that it interferes with her art and does not contribute to it. Madness is not another word for eccentricity. Madness is mental illness. Some mentally ill people, like my gifted friend, make striking art. Most do not. They simply suffer.

 


Eccentrics of the world, unite!
by Linda Saccoccio, Santa Barbara, CA, USA
 

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“Sultry Lady’s slipper”
oil painting
by Linda Saccoccio

I really appreciate the Esoterica here. It allows me to find the good in my so-called eccentricities. The reason I point this out, is because eccentricities sometimes make me feel estranged and alone in a way that has been difficult. It also makes simple tasks hard, in a society where homogeneity is cultivated. My mind just doesn’t like to conform and generally thinks differently than standard perspectives. It takes stamina and perseverance to prevail when you see your eccentricities as a handicap. Perhaps it is time I see them as a strength and let them flower. It’s Spring after all!!

 

 


Tolerable eccentricity
by Paul deMarrais, TN, USA
 

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“Quiet Stream”
pastel painting
by Paul deMarrais

The two kinds of eccentricity are “socially acceptable” and “socially unacceptable.” Most of us eccentrics fit into the former category. A certain amount of weirdness is tolerable and some might even find our quirks interesting or charming. If you go over into the other realm, people may run from you. It’s interesting to me that to make any sort of living as an artist you are going to have to meet and talk to a large number of artists and non artists. These folks are going to have to find you a pleasant enough character. We live in a society. Artists are going to have to connect with people. Some artists try too hard to be weird and this is counterproductive and bad for business. They try hard to NOT be like other people, when it is perfectly fine to be part of the human crowd, brushing teeth, doing laundry, walking the dog and having families. Painting in the nude is a good example of an eccentricity that is likely to turn people off in a big way. It’s not morally wrong or illegal but it is definitely way off the mainstream. If this artist kept this quirk to himself, for me that would be the way to go. If he broadcast this eccentricity as in marketing, I would consider it just more hype. Eccentricity has that capacity to both attract and repel.

 


Nothing dull about it
by Martha Faires, Charlotte, NC, USA
 

040309_martha-faires-artwork

“Winter Survival”
pastel painting
by Martha Faires

Charles H. Spurgeon said, “The Lord who cannot endure vain repetitions is equally weary of vain variations.” He was speaking theologically, of course, but I can’t help but think the principle is equally applicable to good art. It seems some artists are eccentric about variation with no thought for the tried and true. Others are only comfortable with repetition. I hope I can hold fast to the good and not neglect the better. There would be nothing dull about that kind of life.

 

 

 


An eccentric relation
by Jennifer Noxon, Almonte, ON, Canada
 

040309_jennifer-noxon-artwork

“Milkweeds 2”
acrylic painting
by Jennifer Noxon

My great aunt Betty Lane came to mind as I read your recent piece on ‘Eccentricity.’ She was a lifelong painter, musician, teacher, single mom and fiercely independent human being whose eccentricity caught my fascination as a young girl visiting from the suburbs of Toronto. Getting to know her was like being transported into a world that redefined the word ‘possibility.’ She had lampshades made out of coffee cans punctured with patterned holes to let the light through, musical instruments hanging on her walls, teabags hanging out to dry, a working easel in the middle of the living room, fascinating collectibles brought home from her travels, and a basement full of stacks of paintings, sketches, beads, and bobbles. Though she was not the easiest person to get along with, I returned several times to visit, staying for a prolonged period as a young artist trying to find my feet, and finally to see her off. The last time I saw her, just before her death, she commented on how beautiful my eyelashes were in silhouette (even with fluorescent lighting). It is the memories of my aunt that keep me going in times of question and doubt. Her flame continues to burn brightly. I believe she held out the flame and I, with open arms, took it.

Today, I, too, am a teacher, musician and painter and I have no doubt that my relationship with Betty Lane had something to do with the choices I’ve made. In sharing our creativity and allowing our individual-ness to shine we pass on the flame to the children that come after us. We owe them that much.



There is 1 comment for An eccentric relation by Jennifer Noxon

From: Gene Martin — Apr 03, 2009

You are so fortunate to have this wonderful example in your life. I am so unfortunate to not have known her.

 


The eccentric life
by John Ferrie, Vancouver, BC, Canada
 

040309_john-ferrie-artwork

“14”
acrylic painting
by John Ferrie

I come from a family of stock brokers and business people. Sunday dinners at my family often made me wonder if I was an alien. None of them made any sense to me. From there, I was happier in the art department than the soccer field. As a teenager, I would spend my allowance at the art supply store not the movies. I would rather have gone to an art gallery than a public swimming pool on any summer day. I went to art school, not business school. I work as a waiter to subsidize my life, I don’t have an RRSP nor do I have a stock portfolio. I have travelled extensively to create my work. I find inspiration in some of the most intricate things. I rarely cry at movies and yet some artists’ works leave me speechless. I work every day at being an artist and it has come to define me. To many my life is absurd, but I assure you, my paintings are not… I wouldn’t change a single thing.

 


Ordinary people need not apply
by Helen Kirk, Sydney, Australia
 

040309_helen-kirk-artwork

“When through the woods and forest glades I wander”
original painting
by Helen Kirk

I’m not surprised to hear that some people “fake” eccentricities — I have been told that as a middle-aged, middle-class, Anglo-Saxon, Christian woman who is happily married with two children I have very little chance of being taken seriously in the art world. It seems you need something unusual or interesting or tragic about your background or lifestyle before you can be considered a REAL artist.

 

 

 



There are 11 comments for Ordinary people need not apply by Helen Kirk

From: Joanne McSporran — Apr 02, 2009

As a middle aged woman with 2 children and a functioning marriage you are not likely to be taken seriously by anyone as an artist or anything else. Too bad because you obviously have figured out how to keep it all together, which requires a lot of creativity, and still have time and inclination to make art.

From: Dusanka Badovinac — Apr 03, 2009

I dont need to “fake” eccentricities, they are always remanding me…on my background, for example. On my paintings they search for some “sad-refuges-tragic-drama” because I am a Serbian woman living in Holland. It is more interesting story than a story of middle aged mother of two girls living simple life and painting. It is a big dissapointment when I refuse, after 16 years of living in Holland, to dig in for some soap-story from my past.

From: Anonymous — Apr 03, 2009

Please don’t sell yourself short, many of us are as you described and raised our families and have found success in art. See yourself as the artist you want to be and strive to work on your craft. Don’t let “the mold” keep you from success as an artist, nor let others discourage you.

From: Anonymous — Apr 03, 2009

Helen, it sounds like you truly have your priorites in order – and that is what really matters.

From: Jackie Barker — Apr 03, 2009

I am also a middle-aged, Anglo Saxon woman. When it comes up that I have two children and have been married to their father for 39 years, I get the distinct impression that that makes me quite an eccentric!

From: Toni Ciserella — Apr 03, 2009

Middle aged, woman, mother of three, Anglo-saxon, all of which I am. Artist, Entreprenuer, teacher, student, all, at sometime have been used to describe me. I have never let any stereotype keep me from being who I am. I am lucky to have a name that people do not automatically assume I am a woman. I had a gentleman purchase one of my paintings and he kept referring to the artist as a “he”. I let him go on for sometime before I enlightened him. By the way, I was also the waitress who served him his meal everyday. To define yourself by what you do only narrows your vision.

As for being eccentric; if the shoe fits…I wear it!

From: Peter Brown — Apr 03, 2009

Dear Helen – – I led a workshop for 7 years, the members of which repeatedly echoed your comment. All of these women could paint! Most had developed a unique and very sophisticated style in their work. Sometimes, looking back, I think that I learned more from them, than vice versa.

The core group of this workshop had met in what was a studio class in the 1960’s, and this class evolved into the workshop, which is still going! These women ignored being ignored by the mainstream, took great support and encouragement from each other, and more or less created their own art world with group shows and teamwork.

From: Anonymous — Apr 03, 2009

It’s the 21st century, why refer to Anglo-Saxon any longer! I think that you put yourself in that mold. I never heard someone using that term in Europe.

From: Catherine Jo Morgan — Apr 03, 2009

Helen, When I didn’t see a picture by your name, I looked for your artwork via Google. Had no luck. Are you taking yourself and your art career seriously? By all means, if you don’t have a website yet, make one — or put up a profile here as a start. Arrange your life around making your art and getting it out into the world, and the world will take you seriously for sure.

From: Kirsten — Apr 04, 2009

Helen–

I like your painting. :)

Kirsten

From: Cosette Copperfield — Apr 09, 2009

Helen, your painting is absolutely beautiful. It is a stunner. Go git ’em girl.

 


Outside-the-box thinkers
by Peter Brown, Oakland, CA, USA
 

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“Fragments”
acrylic on wood
by Peter Brown

What looks like an eccentricity to most people, is often just another individual’s manifestation of “thinking outside the box,” or in other words — creative intelligence.

The great majority of people live their lives strictly within the limits of social norms. They do what others do, follow the teacher, join the herd, and essentially, simply plod along without ever questioning what they are doing. The eccentric is a person who is not afraid to challenge the norm, and he or she often sets the norms for the future.

Your example of Egbert Oudendag is a case in point. Opening a paint tube on the “wrong” end would seem like the act of an eccentric. But if one is planning to mix that paint with an oily medium, what better way to access the pigments quickly and consistently, than from the back door? My guess would be that one inch of paint from the “wrong” end is an almost measured amount. Squeezing the paint through the top is much more variable and much more tedious.

Long before The Origin of Species, and for most of his life, Charles Darwin kept his study lined with containers of earthworms. I am sure his friends were winking at each other behind his back and shaking their heads. But then, crazy old Charlie proved that we owe the formation of all the soil on earth to our lowly friends the worms. I believe he published his book on worms well before his book on evolution.

As for “phony” eccentrics, or poseurs, one simply gets what one sees as the poseur’s eccentricity is usually just a matter of costume or style. My point is that we should not be too quick to pass judgment on others just because they do things outside of the norm. That odd person just may be on to something.

 

 
woa
 

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Untitled

digital painting
by Wayne Haag, Australia

 

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 Terence who wrote, “If you’ve never read The Velveteen Rabbit, I highly recommend it… a wonderful story about becoming real… not quite phony to genuine, but along those lines. Kids (and adults) love it.”

And also Margo Palmer of Dallas & LaJolla, TX, USA, who wrote, “I have always agreed with whoever said, ‘Never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity.’ I prefer people with at least a little eccentricity… they’re so much more fun!”

And also Janet Morgan of Brooklyn, NY, USA, who wrote, “I don’t know who said it, but I love it: ‘It isn’t that we get more eccentric as we get older, it’s that eccentric people live longer…’ ”
 

 

Archived Comments

Enjoy the past comments below for Eccentricity

 

 

From: D F Gray — Mar 31, 2009

I have to agree about Egbert, he was genuine.

From: Joseph Murray — Mar 31, 2009

First I would like to tell you that I value your wisdom and intellect . On the matter of eccentricity–it is merely a definition submitted by others who supposedly are “normal” . I value eccentricity because it implies a genuineness of thought patterns based upon experimentation and discovery among others . I decided long ago when entering the art world that whatever style I came to represent would not be influenced by art theory or a mentor etc. It would come from within by experimentation and both inductive and deductive reasoning . 37 years later I have not regretted the approach . At this point in time (age 64) it is very interesting to see what schools of thought or styles I kind of fit into with my art . A lot of us (artists) have thought patterns that are similar but our approaches vary dramatically . I think that is dynamic and eccentric . What is more refreshing than looking at a work of art and innately sensing emotions from viewing the work? It does not matter if it is what the artist was seeking to represent — it is all about what the viewer senses. It’s eccentricities — Ha!

From: Nick Stone — Mar 31, 2009

Most of the great advances in art and science are made by eccentrics. Obsessive and compulsive behaviour is needed to think outside the box. The tragedy is that we now feel the need to “treat” these characteristics when they appear as aberrations, we prescribe drugs and therapy instead of making room for people who think differently.

From: Rick Rotante — Apr 01, 2009

Genuine eccentricity is a hard thing to nail down. If you remain obscure and only the locals in your circle think you eccentric then maybe its rightly so, but if you become famous, say like Picasso, Dali, Whistler, are you still eccentric or are you a clever person of some intelligence to capitalize on this “uniqueness?”

Who is to say they and others are not genuine when publicly noticed? I feel completely real but there are those in my family who think I’m eccentric.

I don’t believe we become aware of true eccentricity until it gains notoriety. Then society falls into line and says that person did what he/she did due to their eccentricities and not because of their unique abilities at shutting out everything but their work.

We are all eccentric to some degree. The painting process is innately imbued with this quality. We have to be a bit odd to devote so much time to applying paint onto a canvas to show what many already think they know or have seen before and we believe what we do is interesting to others. So much so as to have them part with money to attain it.

Was Einstein eccentric? Or was he so involved in his own world as to seem distanced from the normal.

I think it is the outside world that misunderstands those who seem eccentric when they are only completely taken up with what they do. Whether you paint naked or in a clown suit doesn’t make eccentric if it gets the job done. It’s when we see a thousand other painters dressed that we assume you eccentric.

From: Lois Clarke — Apr 01, 2009

My husband and I were at one of Egbert’s shows at the Hambleton Gallery in 1975 and purchased one of his paintings. We were invited to one of Jack’s “after show” gatherings and spent a memorable time visiting Egbert. We invited him for breakfast the following morning and I, of course, made a very heavy traditional “English Breakfast” including fried bread. Egbert came armed with canned salmon and – yes! grapefruit. I feel privileged to have spent some time with such a delightfully eccentric man. And yes – he was wearing a pair of well-lived-in shorts. I subsequently purhased a beautiful painting of Orcas Island. What a delightful man.

From: Terrie Christian — Apr 01, 2009

Thanks for this subject, and I love the definitions you present. I am so lucky to be a part of the oldest all media art organization in Minnesota. We have several artists who fit the “genuine” description. I left other groups where I was not allowed to be as much of my creative self as I needed to be. It is wonderful to have an “Art Home” with so many who are following their own path of genuine creativity. I hope that this message you have sent out will inspire others to be themselves and make up their own ideas. It is a most rewarding to make art and see others make art that is so obviously not a copy of somebody else’s style.

From: Tiit Raid — Apr 01, 2009

Don’t go out of your way to be eccentric or different or stand-out-from-the-crowd. Be yourself. Do your work. That is enough.

From: Russ Hogger — Apr 01, 2009

I have to agree with Terrie Christian and Tiit Raid, it is a nice sentiment to be yourself.

From: Dwayne Davis — Apr 02, 2009

An ode to the eccentric in us all

To stand apart from those who live in a world they do not see.

Who struggle through life just to be,

They are unable to see that they’re free.

They have no outlet for their mind,

It is they who have been left behind.

Along come the creative souls,

Showing the masses another way to go.

Crazy, eccentric is what they say,

And the creative ideas are sent away.

“Don’t mind them, they’re not all there,”

“Come now dear, let’s not stare.”

“They have their idiosyncrasies,”

“A compulsive disorder, or A.D.D.”

“It’s part of being an artist, you see.”

From: Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki — Apr 02, 2009

I can see a person who hates doing laundry painting nude. Nothing eccentric about that, just practical. My painting clothes are pants, T-shirt and a sweater. When I am cold, I put the sweater on, when I am hot I take the pants off – a simple air conditioning system for our climate!

Incidently we are two people and have 7 bycicles in our house, but Sinisa says that’s because we need them…again nothing eccentric about that!

Edgbert seems to have been a wonderful person to know, reminds me a bit of my grandfather who owned so few things that I could probably list them from my memory – everything in his house had a purpose and was actively used or wouldn’t make it into the house in the first place. He didn’t even allow a fridge!

From: David Benjamin — Apr 02, 2009

True eccentrics are put on this earth as beings for us to enjoy. Personally, I have never met an eccentric I didn’t enjoy. Fascinating people.

From: Judy — Apr 03, 2009

I’ve often been thought of as eccentric, and questioned many times about some of my activities. As a young woman, I was defensive about my choices in the face of disapproval but followed my heart anyway. It wasn’t easy remaining true to my “crazy” self. With age comes the benefit of truly not caring what anyone says when following my own path. Ah, life can be so good with the yoke of desiring approval removed! I look back and think “what a good time I had!” And I look forward to more “eccentric” adventures.

From: J.R. — Apr 03, 2009

I agree with Judy.

As we mature, what was previously thought of as fun, different, creative, becomes eccentric to the masses, with a heavy dose of not needing approval.

From: Toni — Apr 03, 2009

Seems the only difference between a neurotic and an eccentric is the neurosis causes distress to the individual whereas an eccentric (painting ala nude) just causes distress to family and friends (and an occasional passerby).

From: Denise — Apr 03, 2009

My sister is a therapist and I am an artist. I read this article and all the responses and felt compelled to add mine. Pain is the separation of eccentricity and madness. One term is frivolous and the other harmful. After mulling this over, I just want to go and move wet paint about; it it much more satisfying than scratching my head over what my grandmother would call silliness.

From: Gene Martin — Apr 03, 2009

I once lived very close to work and could run home frequently to paint. Not wanting to get paint on my clothes I would strip down to boxers, in deference to my neighbors, and paint. When I was needed a call came in and I re-dressed and went back to work. If this is eccentric then so be it because I have been called much worse and it has not deterred me at all.

From: Rick Rotante — Apr 06, 2009

I went to a museum this weekend and after visiting four centuries of art the one artist that stood out to me (this time at least) was Gustave Courbet. I’ve read some of his life story and find that he was uncompromising when it came to doing and being his own person. Painting what he wanted and the way he wanted. Thought considered eccentric in his time the one indisputable truth was ‘he had chops” He was a master artist. He had the goods to stand out and be noticed because his work overshadowed his eccentricities and was noticed in spite of his demeanor.

Many of his works were considered vulgar and his subject matter socially unacceptable. He painted the working classes and the impoverished. And he did this with uncompromised skill and truthfulness and his work won awards, was bought and sold and prised by museums and collectors.

Art today is becoming more conservative and it’s getting harder to fake it.

Money is tight and buyers want the more bang for their buck. Artists need to take a second look at what they do and make sure it’s the best work they display for sale or show. Your idiosyncrasies will not be such a detriment if your work is of a superior quality. In fact, even today those “quirks” in your personality will add to the price – but the bottom line is your work has to be masterful.

From: Comments moderator — Apr 06, 2009
From: Jhannote Thibo — Apr 07, 2009

I was dubbed “eccentric” all during my 68 years of being “different”, even when I was young. My mother, whom I called the President of my fan club came to my aid in my teens by saying that being called eccentric was merely a word used to explain being courageous enough and “daring to be one’s Self”, no matter what. And that comment made everything right!! So far, so good. Here is to genuine eccentricity.

 

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