Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Zimmerman, Cheating Artists and the Pursuit of Success

George Zimmerman has painted a picture that is up to $110,000+ on eBay at present. The only reason it has garnered ANY bids is because he shot and killed a young man. If the sale goes through hopefully he will donate the proceedings to the family of the victim.

It's frustrating as an artist to see this sort of thing. It's always been said that there are no shortcuts in life. I'm not too sure of that.

Last Christmas Day I stood in a creek and painted a 30" x 40" canvas in about 4 hours. Even with the waterproof boots and wool socks, my feet still got cold. My fingers stiffened and hurt and my nose ran. After about 3 hours of painting, a man approached me and started to tell the story of his father. He said his father, who used to be a professional photographer, moved to Nashville, Tennessee and became a highly paid portrait artist. Even though he hadn't painted much before.

The man told me that his father takes photographs of his clients and then prints the chosen picture onto canvas, which he then stretches. He then proceeds to paint ON TOP of the photograph. He said his father gets a great likeness of the client that way. Huh? Wait a minute. What?

I'm glad I was near the end of my painting session when this conversation occurred, because my attitude changed pretty quickly. Here I stood, freezing my ass off in a creek, trying to create something from observation.

That painting still hangs on my studio wall. I like it. I think it's a good painting. I wonder how many portrait "paintings" the old dude has sold in Nashville during the past year.

Does it make me want to cheat? Nope. Just the opposite. The Nashville portrait artist, along with George Zimmerman, and all the others that get to skip many rungs on the ladder, only push me to work harder.

Now, I need to get to the studio to get some painting time in before going to my daily job.


Roger Brown My Botswana Art said...

It can be frustrating,but although they may make more money,they have never experienced the true satisfaction of creating something from scratch,as you did and many others are still do.Keep painting;)

Leslie Hawes said...

Hear, hear.

Carolyn said...

waste of time thinking about how other artists are successful. The only thing that matters is how you enjoy what you do. The negativity will not help you to reach your potential

Regina Calton Burchett said...

I agree with you completely, and my friend Leslie. I don't think it hurts to vent a little now and then, because it can be frustrating to try to capture a person, a still life or a scene when others are simply copying. But you know what your work is worth and how to create, and that is what matters.

Sam Easton said...

At least I can go to bed, knowing we're the real deal.