Even though I'm quite respectful of the type of training an artist chooses, I can't help but feel odd when I look at people working at Neo-Neo-Neo Classical academies. Among the feelings I get, is an accusing sensation, self-imposed I'm sure, pointing out how badly I draw and paint. I feel terrible when I look at how disciplined and controlled is the manner in which those drawings and paintings are executed. I can't tell you how I felt when I glanced at my palette after I saw the Michael Klein video. While you could have open heart surgery on top of his, mine looks like something that was dug out of Pompey.
While I thought about my technical short-comings, I realized something. I actually appreciate that my drawing ability is not as high as these highly talented people. I don't mind when I find that I messed up proportions, or dirtied colors, or altered my composition. The thing is, I've always seen art as a struggle. Now, that's not to say that sometimes, SOME times, wonderful things happen effortlessly, but most of the time, at least for most of us, it's something akin to labor. And by labor I of course mean childbirth.
In my case, and I'm obviously not saying that this should be everyone's manner of work, painting is a horrible experience. I paint, and scrape, and repaint, and curse the heavens, go to bed frustrated, paint again, look at a good artbook, get depressed after looking at a good artbook, go to bed thinking fuck it, paint again, start feeling confident, fuck it up a smidgeon, hopelessly and frantically try to fix it, give up, frame it and sell it.
So every time I look at these Zen classical draughtsmen, I always feel I have a responsibility towards myself and the sanity of my family, to think clearly, to draw more accurately and to paint cleanly. And I try, god knows I try...
but I can't.
That's when I realize, fuck it. I'm not as good a draughtsman as these guys, I'm not as good a colorist, and I can't make the clear and confident decisions they make... BUT, I embrace painting. I absolutely adore the process of uncertainty, of self doubt that accompanies every image I make. I like that it's not easy, that I can't grasp concepts firmly, that my paintings reflect struggle. I'm ok with that.
God bless these guys working in those ateliers, because I genuinly enjoy looking at the stuff they do... mainly because I'm not capable of doing what they do.
So here's a painting I started a bit ago. It's a bit clusterfucky, but it'll get there. Where you may ask?
... I'll get back to you on that one.