plein air landscape painting
Painting From Life vs. From Photos

Why is it so difficult to be an artist? CB responded:

How can any one living in the developed world, with enough money & free time to waste it dicking around with a website and on [an art discussion group], in anyway consider their life or even their work “hard”? Living in Iraq would be hard, farming in Sudan would be hard, having a degenerative painful disease would be hard. But for artists to pretend to be in the same boat is just self-involved nonsense. Certainly it was true prior to the 1900’s ( when no sales amounted to starvation), or for those who had to face down a Stalin or a Hitler or a Mao, but now? just suck it up and quit yer whining….

Here is what CB makes me ask myself:

  • Do I wake up before sunrise to put my best into my art while most people are still sleeping?
  • Do I paint as though my very existence depended on it?
  • And if not, why not?

CB does not aim at popularity with his writing style. But I think his advice — “just suck it up and quit yer whining” — is valuable. The reason is that I think “the art world”, as we know it, is about to fall apart. There are going to be tremendous opportunities for artists in the near future, but it will take some guts to make the most of them.

Related: Why is it so difficult to be an artist?