Making Art is Work!

Bare Branches

Bare Branches

As a person who has the privilege of making art for a living, I have to admit that I am often frustrated by questions about the time it takes to create a piece of art. I have always found this a difficult question to answer because of the various reactions I get from my questioners.

Some folks are only happy if you say that you labored over a piece and that it kept you up nights trying to think of ways to get it right. But sometimes a painting just flows out of you like lightning. I used to try to go into elaborate explanations of how much of the time I spend thinking about my work versus the time I stand there with my brush in hand. Then there is all the time I spend just looking at things, at trees, at light, at color. And then there are the landscapes in my mind that I try to translate.

The truth is, that as an artist everything in your life goes into creating your work… every experience you have had shapes how you view and interpret the world around you. So I guess my best answer these days is …“that painting took my whole life to make.”

kevin gillentine