I can take it. Really, I’m good with it. I know my place in the scheme of things and I truly don’t think I’m any better than I am.
I often call myself a painter rather than an artist. I think of what I do as a craft rather than art. I didn’t paint for all those years because I didn’t think I was ever going to be good enough to make a living. A big moment for me was when I did my foundation course and my tutors said that I should say I wasn’t interested in money at my degree course interviews because taking fine art at university was tantamount to accepting a life of poverty. I didn’t go- eventually the degree I went to was in theology and psychology.
I’ve always been interested in irrationality, the ways people fool themselves, contradictory and foolish belief systems. I have books on the Elvis faith, UFO religions as well as standard world religions. I’m an avid fortean. I’m interested in the prevailing world view shaped by the culture of entitlement we live in whereby the people in the richest nations of the world feel hard done by and everyone’s “dream” is to be a vacuous celebrity.
I hope that explains more why I often try to debunk the porn industry illusions of the internet. It endlessly fascinates me. Reality is only disappointing when people have inflated expectations, and they so often do.
I digress, I went off on that tangent for a reason though. The reason I got back to painting wasn’t because I suddenly thought I was great, but because trawling the internet made me realise that there is a market for ok paintings, even bad ones. I’m not aiming high, A lot of what I do is copying peoples’ own photos, pets, kids, bottoms, I don’t mind.
When I started doing this I aimed for the low/mid range, tried to develop a style that would take maybe ten hours per painting so I could price my work at the low end. They don’t always work like that. Kimono took a whole week, I’ve others that took a couple of hours. I started doing ACEO pieces but really thay take me a couple of hours at least and I can’t expect even minimum wage from those. I like doing them though.
I don’t just do what the market likes, I’d rather work in tesco than copy swirly trees or quirky vintage girls with birds on their heads. I like them, I don’t want to do them. A look on the what’s selling page of the art sites would soon show me what to paint. Pretty badly in most cases. But I don’t want to. I’ll do it if I’m commissioned with money up front, but not by choice.
I’m getting there, I think I’ve lately become more confident in spending a bit longer on the paintings, I’d like a few that demonstrate what I can do at the best of my ability in between the decorative pieces.Who knows, I might get better. I don’t know how good I’d be if I hadn’t stopped for 15 years, I don’t know how things will develop.
I see a lot of forum posts where people post up their work for a critique only to be given one and being outraged, and people selling work on ETSY hoping for £2000 for something one of my kids could produce with a box of poundland acrylics. I’m fine with people telling me my work could be better, I agree whole heartedly. There’s some amazing work out there, work that deserve its price tag in the tens of thousands. I’m not asking for that, often I’m asking for enough money for a night down the pub, sometimes only for enough to buy myself a bottle of pink sparkly wine.
So it’s fine, critique away. I’m fairly sure Brian Sewell isn’t watching my blog