Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Blessings for the [Artful] New Year

Happy New Year, everyone! Good things are already happening here at Artwork by Anna Rose!

Don't worry... I haven't forgotten about my discourse on good art / bad art and Christian art philosophy. But I am still working on what I want to say, and how I want to say it, so in the mean time, I'd like to pause and dwell for a moment on this past year, while looking forward to our brand new one, 2011.

In spite of the many negative things that took place around the world in 2010 (e.g. the gulf spill, the economic crisis, politics in general...), I felt very blessed and encouraged by all the artistic growth I saw, not just in my own work, but in the work of other artists whom I've come to know either through social networking, artist groups, or here in DFW. I was extremely grateful for the portrait commissions I received throughout the year. The ultimate compliment to an artist, especially in hard economic times, is when a patron is willing to spend their hard-earned money on a work of art. I also saw a rise in interest in art, in general. I realized that perhaps people were beginning to miss being surrounded by beauty, and so the demand for art increased. Of course, things were still "slow" for most of us artists, but we have been encouraged by small victories throughout the year.

If you think about it, an artist is a remarkable person. There are so many obstacles he or she must overcome, whether they be finding time for art while balancing family or another job, finding the right representation, fixing faulty technique, or simply having enough money to buy art supplies. The few artists who are lucky enough to create art full-time know how good they have it and try not to take it for granted. Artists must get used to spending many hours alone in the studio, while being able to socialize on the rare occasions that they are in the spotlight. Artists realize they think differently than most, and so they seek out other artists with whom they can relate. When no other artists are around, they turn to old books and the great art critics and teachers of the past for fellowship. Or, in this new generation of social networks and online tools, they start forums and find places where they can be an active part of stimulating conversations. They constantly struggle to master their technique, to find their own voice, and to be seen as relevant in today's world. Yes, the artist's life is hard, but in spite of all this, we must realize just how good we have it! I mean, gone are the days of storing oil paint in pig bladders... we live a life of luxury and freedom, and we are blessed beyond measure!

I write this not to brag or tell you how special I am (I mean, come on... I have a long way to go!), but rather, to congratulate my peers and to encourage them to continue in the great work that they are doing. We are all in the same boat together, and we are ready to embrace this new year and contribute what we can in order to make our world a more beautiful place.

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