Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Time for Action

As an artist, I’m seldom satisfied with a painting I've completed.

Let me correct that; I am never satisfied with a painting I've completed. There is always some aspect of the finished work that irritates my often too critical artist sensibilities — like a nagging itch in the center of my back that I can’t quite scratch. This lack of satisfaction is a major driving force in my compulsion to create. In a way, I am constantly chasing the dangling carrot in hopes I might someday catch it. I'm OK with this. I've learned to not let my mild disappoint with certain aspects of my paintings diminish the accomplishment of them. Every painting is a lesson learned. With every painting I feel I've grown as a painter and matured in some small way. And I believe I am a better artist because of my self-criticism of my work.

But (and there's often a 'but') being a professional artist means having to meet deadlines. These deadlines frequently leave me feeling rushed in my painting, unable to address problems I see in the work because I have to move on to the next. This pressure can exacerbate the problem of self-criticism and can rob me of my motivation to create.

So now it is time for action.

I recently completed 12 paintings over the last several months for my show in Charleston, SC and I certainly felt rushed. That isn’t to say I was disappointed in the work, but I did feel I could have produced better paintings had I been able to truely give each piece the attention it needed. Now that the show is over, I can focus.

Over the coming months I plan to produce a series of paintings I can really concentrate on. There are no deadlines for these works. I am creating them for the purposes of recharging my love of painting, creating the best works I am currently capable of, and if all goes well, I will present them to a gallery I have long admired in hopes they may decide to show them.

I will post 'in progress' images of these paintings, along with a few notes on how I feel about them, here on this blog. I invite all of you to comment on them. I would appreciate your feedback.


  1. I think you should paint an alligator!

    Welcome to the world of blogging Dustin.

  2. Ah, the romance of being an artist goes right out the window, doesn't it? I'm anxious to see your new work, Dustin. No doubt it'll be beautiful as always.