|The Birdhouse That Launched It All|
I had done a series of items, usually birdhouses, because they were cheap as were the paints. I did a few now and then and gave them away as gifts. In fact, one of my favorites was a Early American Federal inspired mailbox that I gave to friends one Christmas who were obviously too embarrassed to ever show it at their house. So, I learned that not all that I create will be willingly accepted.
When I started oil painting, the teacher was quite versed in the California Impression of the turn of the 20th Century. I was an avowed Impressionist and wanted to be just like her. In fact my paintings started out as poor imitations of her style. However, after classes in Las Vegas and just painting plein air, my style started to change. It was something that happened, not something that I embraced, at least at first. In fact, I fought it for awhile but finally gave in. It was at this juncture that my first teacher and I had a parting of the ways.
It was this birdhouse that caused my daughter to suggest I really should consider selling my things on Etsy. This really was a design from my heart. It was a consideration as the number of items had overrun the space inside the house and with the addition of canvases, it was all mounting up!
Good or bad though, these were things I tried to paint from my heart. Two of the artists I have never been fond of, but have been and remain hugely popular are Thomas Kincaid, the self proclaimed "Painter of Light" and Bob Ross. I have often wondered about them and other artists. Did they paint from the heart or from the money?
A Van Gogh lover since about the age of 11, I find it so strange that this artist who painted and sketched so much in so little time was relagated to the sidelines in his time while other artists thrived. This is not to say Monet or Renoir or Cezanne or Gauguin were lesser artists, but you have to wonder what did they or their collectors see in them, that was never seen in Van Gogh until after his death?
Then to see, two men who painted, would be considered by most true collectors as shlock artists who are amazingly more or as least as popular in death than life, with a style of art that is the defacto standard of bathroom or motel room art, a style for many a budding artist and yes, home collector might want, causes you to pause. They want that? Really?
Kincaid, whose early art is amazing and beautiful, created a formula he never changed mading his art both instantly recognizable and sacchrine. How many English cottages along an English creek in the countryside or forest would you paint or own? Apparently quite a few. When 60 Minutes was documenting the trials and tribulations of Kincaid before his death, they found more than a few collectors with over 100 of his copies; giclee's, that he would put a dab of paint on and sign. One of hundreds if not thousands he sold for hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Ironically, he NEVER sold an original.
Ross' style is instantly recognizable as well. PBS still shows his classes and he's been dead a long time now. Note the Afro hairdo. His style is very quick and maybe even easy. I mean, with a one or two inch brush, you can cover that canvas pretty quickly. However, each one remains the same basic style with just a different scene. In fact, on any weekend in Southern California, many an empty gas station lot has $49.99 paintings of exactly this same style.
I imagine that most of the readers here are painters or crafters as well. However, while there seems to be a lot of us, we need to remember that many of our friends and relatives are not crafters or painters. They ARE the majority. We need to create for them a world of art where the art has heart and its beating!
Visit my store at KrugsStudio.etsy.com