Almost every artist I know has always been an artist. Almost every artist know has also worked at some other kind of occupation. I know very few artists who have worked only as artists. I’ve known artists who were farriers, construction workers, cooks, cowboys, barbers, real estate salesmen, accountants, criminals and musicians. I was an editor and newspaper publisher myself. But simultaneously, I was an artist too, if in spirit only.
I think those various experiences help people be better artists, for art is a translation of one’s life’s view to a canvas, or a score or a manuscript. Beyond that, artists tend to see more and look at things in an intangible way. We use our creativity, our special instincts for tying things together, our sense for color, value, form, rhythm, and balance to tell our own special story in paint, or music or words.
As previously mentioned, I was a newspaper editor and publisher, and I found it remarkable the similarities between that endeavor and my painting. Both, in their own way, were keeping a record of history, one with perhaps more objectivity, the other more subjectivity. Both use editing as a primary tool for clarifying the message to the viewer or reader. By that I mean the painter in this case does not paint in every leaf on the tree or every blade of grass, but uses simple cues to identify large masses. In this way he edits the scene much the same way as an editor in a newspaper would edit a complex story down to three or four simple facts so the reader doesn’t get confused in the minutia.
I can’t speak for all artists, but I feel as though I’ve been practicing my art all my life. From early experiences as a teenager when I took private lessons from the best up and coming artists of the day, to accepting commissions from my Junior High School teachers to paint portraits of their children, painting girl pictures for my friends in college , creating nice paintings for Mom on Mother’s Day.
Trying to decide between a painting and a writing career. Publishing a major daily newspaper for 20 years, being president of the Utah Press ‘association which included all of Utah’s newspapers. Returning to the art world without missing a beat, with show invitations from Zions Bank, the Provo Library, the Covey Center for the Arts, St. George Art Museum, the Dixie Sears Gallery and many others. I have been blessed, but also, I never forgot that I was an artist.
I looked at things through the eyes of an artist. I painted in my mind. And when I had the opportunity to return to art full time, I worked countless hours putting mileage on my brushes in catching up. There is no substitute for hard work.
You can see from the examples in this website that the quality of the work is unmatched .