'The Shell Seekers'
2013 - Oil on canvas
In my quest to find images that fit with 'figurative story telling', I decided to tackle an image that I first painted about 18 months ago. I've compared them side by side.
Verdict? A year and a half of slogging it out in the studio, studying, pondering, keeping up lessons with an amazing mentor and trying...so...friggin'... hard... to understand this art gig, is slowly paying off. There is a vast difference in ability between the two paintings.
The confidence got boosted for roughly 5 nano seconds...a visit to see the finalists of 'The Black Swan Portrait Prize' in Perth city yesterday, left me remembering two ever so important words - Humility and Patience.
We live in such a fast paced world, where just about every thing is 'instant'. If we want it, we can get it, just about immediately. We have lost the satisfaction of waiting and earning the right to something.
I WANT my work to be hanging in a prestigious gallery. I WANT people to be "oohing" and "ahhing" over my intricately painted masterpieces and paying vast sums of money to have the honour of one of my paintings hanging in their homes (LOL!) But, I know I have to put in the hard yards first.
Artists need patience...by the palette full. There are no short cuts. We need to spend time honing our skills so we don't fall into the instant gratification trap of putting out a massive amount of work that unfortunately is sitting at an amateur level.
I entered the Black Swan Portrait Prize last year...with 'Emmanuel'...I didn't get far.
Entry to the Black Swan Portrait prize 2012
In hindsight, I totally wasn't ready to enter and this year I totally wasn't ready to enter again...but this year, I actually realised and honoured that. I will enter this prize some time in the future. When I feel ready. When I can look at my work with an educated eye and think, "Ok...maybe, just maybe I'm ready". When I can hold my head up high and know I have put in the effort, the hours, the tears, the struggles, the loneliness, the frustration. When the patience of staying on the path up the mountain has been endured and I know deep down in the depths of my soul that I am ready to enter it and that my work could hang strongly in the gallery with my style, with who I am, shining through.
Tomorrow is the artists preview for the Perth Royal Agricultural Show exhibition. I am happy with my entry...
Oil on Canvas - 2013
Perth Royal Agricultural Show Entry 2013
But as always, every time you enter a prize, you wear humility like an invisible cloak. The styles, the abilities and diversity of the other entrants work is always astounding. Art is in the eye of the judges and curators, and every single entry has the ability to receive a ribbon or a prize. I live in hope, but I also prepare myself with the hide of an elephant, and along with every other artist there, for defeat.
And there is constant defeat. It can bring you to your knees. But that's ok. I want to be the best artist I can be and that will only come with time...and patience....and believing that by Gods will and in His time, with some hard work by me, that it will happen.
My job is to just to stay focussed. And Wait. My. Turn.
So with paint under my fingernails and a new painting planned, I wish you a palette full of paint, patience and humility.