|Yellow-crowned Night Heron. Conte Drawing by Ken Januski.
I realize that any complaints I make about my art, its acceptance in juried exhibitions, etc. as in the last post is always going to be subject to the possible charge of 'sour grapes' and/or 'artistic whining.' The odd thing is I have no sympathy with either, especially the latter.
It is no doubt true that most artists of whatever sort cannot make a living from their art. That just seems patently true and not open to argument. I wish it were not so. And I suppose I could complain about that, especially when compared to the amount of money that goes to sports and some of the idiocy that is on television. But it seems fruitless. I wish our culture cared more for art but it doesn't. Silly to complain about it.
The other side of this though and where I criticize the self-pitying artist is that I have no doubt that I'm doing what I love and that I'm exceedingly lucky to be able to do so!
|My Studio - June 2013.
I thought of this a week or two ago as I looked about my studio, seen above. I think I might have been reading a book on birds or dragonflies at the time. I realized that I am now able to combine two of my great loves, art and nature, and spend most of each day on them. If I don't get distracted by other things this really is the perfect setup for me personally. It would be nice to get greater appreciation of course. But seen from the perspective of being able to spend most of each day being able to do what I love, it's very hard to complain.
My love of art I think is older than my love of nature and the outdoors though I recall that even in grade school I couldn't stand having lunch in the classroom and would instead ride my bike over to the nearby woods and have it there. I also remember being scared out of my skin once or twice when I found snakes crawling near me. I don't think I've ever fully recovered to the one crawling through the spokes of my bike.
In any case I think it's a lucky person who can spend most of their time with lifelong loves. It would of course be nice to see more income from this but outside of that I truly do think I'm a very lucky person.
|Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. Conte Drawing by Ken Januski.
I've continued to experiment with Conte crayon sketches. At top is an immature Yellow-crowned Night Heron seen at the Manayunk Canal in Philadelphia almost three summers ago. Above are a couple of studies of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. I particularly liked them because the photos showed some clue as to their structure, one that as in many woodpeckers is hard to decipher because of their complex feather patterns. In all of these sketches I've tried to accentuate the structure and not worry about superficial details. That to me is one of the appeals of Conte. If forces you to work somewhat broadly as Rembrandt did so successfully in his sketches.