I love reading Robert Glenn ~ The Painters Keys Twice Weekly Newsletter
May 27, 2011
Yesterday, Karen J. Jones of Boston, Massachusetts wrote, "I'm a self-confessed art flirt. When I see the work of others that I'm attracted to, I fall in love. I want to be that artist, I want to create that work, I want to live that life. I'm willing to give up my current style, all my materials and even my pets if I could just paint like that. It happens often. With the convenience of the Internet, I can fall in love more than once a day. I'm suffering from infatuation overload and it's really getting to me. Can you help?"
Thanks, Karen. The condition you're talking about is widespread. The good news is, if it's like having an occasional drink, it's fairly harmless. Out of control, it can ruin careers and bring artists to states of hopelessness and depression. Yours sounds like a serious case of Chronic Creative Promiscuity (CCP). You need to take the cure. I know of no organization catering to really outrageous flirts like you. I'll take the case.
The reason you compulsively accept the paths of others is you don't have confidence in your own path. If you ever had a path, you need to find it again by quitting cold turkey. You need to choose a day to begin a new life of media celibacy. Explore your own creative wanderings and drag stuff up from your fantasy bank. Be assured that you have enough talent and character to pull it off. FYI, we've put some of Karen's work at the top of the current clickback.
Your case is particularly serious because you want to be in someone else's shoes. You'll even sacrifice your pets. You need to fully understand that you are your own person. To be satisfied in our game, you need to own your style and your direction. Put a sign on your studio wall: "I shalt not covet the work of others." You've had enough of playing the field. You now need to look within.
Permit yourself only occasional dalliance in your new world of media chastity. Abstain for a day and you can abstain for a week. The rest will be history. More great careers have been built on habit modification than this world dreams of.
PS: "Be careful that you do not write or paint anything that is not your own, that you don't know in your own soul." (Emily Carr)
Esoterica: The main joy in art, apart from acquired proficiency, is to get the understanding that you are truly special and unique. This understanding is a defense against all setbacks or misgivings. In the words of Emily Carr, "If you're going to lick the icing off somebody else's cake, you won't be nourished and it won't do you any good." It's true, artists need to see themselves as pioneers, and when they possess their own uniqueness, they thrive.
"They copied all they could follow,
but they couldn't copy my mind,
so I left them sweating and stealing
a year and a half behind." (Rudyard Kipling)
Current clickback: Art and the tiger mom looks at the implications for fine art in the current interest in Chinese rigour in education. We've also put in a selection of Karen J. Jones's current work. Your comments will be appreciated.