Here’s the thing! When I went to art school in the early 80’s it was ‘where weirdos go!’ I was regularly told as a teenager I was a weirdo for liking art, dressing up weird and my music choices – ska, blues, punk! And alongside, told I would never make a living as an artist and should get a ‘proper job’ and training.
Both fine art painting and sculpture were for the ‘real weirdos’. The sensible creatives did graphic design or jewellery, a course that led to a profession!
These days everyone and their rabbit seems to be calling themselves a painter – retirees from all sorts of professions are popping up all over the place as ‘artists’ with a nice pension in their pocket and no real need to make a living from painting! I wonder if it had been something they HAD to do, wouldn’t they have done it all along? Or maybe their parental pressure was too dominant or their inner rebel too weak? I dunno! It’s just something I’ve noticed. Not a dig at anyone! Maybe they were the real weird ones for not being true to themselves as teenagers?
One thing I know is that the artists I know who have painted consistently all their lives didn’t choose art, art chose them! They don’t necessarily want to paint, they have to paint or they don’t feel right! The ‘work’ doesn’t need to be good, it just needs to be done. And yes, that’s probably weird!
I started thinking about it after talking to an old college friend yesterday who has been living in upside-down-land for a very long time. In our convo she used the word ‘weird’ and I burst out laughing as it reminded me of being 17 again and how art students were perceived. Weirdo’s indeed!
So, to all the artist out there, my musician, writer and actor friends too, who don’t feel ‘right’ unless doing their art thing, I love you! It takes tenacity, courage and daring to keep on keeping on! And guess what? It seems we are not so weird anymore! And that too is just a tad weird!
Summer Swallows, Acrylic and Ink on Canvas, 80 x 80 cm
Inspired by the swallows feeding here and painted entirely using feathers. New series of paintings in progress. My studio is open all summer by appt. Near Carnwath, Scotland