Monday, August 18, 2008

From Capt Stacys Dock-8x10-SOLD


I'm off on a tangent on todays post, but i feel compelled to write it. after all this is the place i can editorialize, rant or bore and if you dont like it, you can click to another on your favorites icon, no worse for wear, right? stick with me tho'. you'll be glad you did.....
so here goes.....
i was cruiseing my favorite artists who blog this afternoon and i went to frank gardners. i really got a slap upside of the head!! he's a painter down in mexico and i love his work ethic and down to earth philosophies about life and his art. he's very grounded and one heck of a painter. anyway...... i go there today and he's got all these pics of his summer vacation when he came to the states in july. i'm scrolling down and here's his kid at the beach, at disney etc. he has a saying that ive adopted and if i was the tattoo type i'd have it tattooed on the backs of both hands. he says....."life sometimes gets in the way of painting"
when i first heard it, it was an epiphany (you didnt think this old paint-slinger knew words like that, did you?)
its so true!
i want to paint everyday. i want to get better at superhuman speed, want to paint over all my crappy paintings so no one will see them! i have a thousand underpainting techniques i want to try... on and on. nothing wrong with this in and of itself but ive become one dimensional. i dont want to be with people long because it takes me away from what i want to do. i dont want to wear a watch because it impedes the carefree, go where i want to go blah blah blah
this guy has a life AND he paints. He has a family AND he paints.
my point? if you read this blog and youre a writer you know what i'm talking about. if youre a salesman, you know what i'm talking about. this post is about life not just art and painting.
Let us not become so obsessed with our craft (whatever it might be) that we become slaves to it. we are to be balanced, whole and happy. i cant help believe that that is every bit as important as how you treat the edges in your painting or how your color harmonies relate.
do i hear an amen, people? LOL
thanks frank for posting pictures of an artist that has a life AND paints with passion when its time to paint.

13 comments:

Marian Fortunati said...

Okay, ditto to all you just said. AND in a way... THANK GOODNESS that life gets in the way of painting... After all would it be worth doing?? What's it all about?...
Enjoy your paintings and your successes!! The journey's where it is.

mike rooney said...

marian
thanks stopping by and for the encouraging words. youre so right! its not the destination so much as the ride, on the way there!

Frank Gardner said...

Reverend!
( I don't know if you are a Blazing Saddles fan or not.)

Or, Right On!

I didn't mean to cause any epiphanies Mike. I think I went shopping there once in NYC.

You are right about needing balance in life bro.

Funny, my wife and I were riding in the car this afternoon, after I had posted that, and listening to this guy on the local radio station. He was going on about the olympics. How some Mexicans had gone all the way to China and not done that well, but Michael Phelps, he was the man. If you wanted to succeed in anything, be THE BEST, you had do attack it like him. How he spent New Years Eve swimming five hours at midnight instead of partying. This guy said that was the kind of attitude that you needed to be the best. Do it day and night.
We both kind of looked at each other and nodded.(we were in traffic, so looking at each other while she was driving did not put us in danger.)
We agreed that that was the way to be the best, but that there were other things like our kid in the back seat, or friendships or family, that were just as important and that we just could not do that with our careers. I said that I would love to paint all day and night and man, would I start to get good. She agreed, but....
It works for Phelps, but he is young, he will live his life later once he's done winning olympic gold.
For us, we are happy with the way things are for us. We could each spend more time at work and not with our daughter, but we chose not to.
I dont know where I'm going with this.
Rambling on.
I'm glad you got something out of that post Mike. I almost didn't put it up 'cause I thought it was off topic. I'm glad you got something from it. Very cool.
Have you ever watched Being There, with Peter Sellers?

mike rooney said...

frank- your reply makes me smile. youre so right. prioritizing whats important and being happy in your situation IS the definition of success.
balance is the name of the game, reminded me of that and hit me smack between the eyes with the post. so glad you did.
Life is more than the sum of what we do (or achieve) but its a fine line isnt it, between being passionate and doing what it takes to be a "champion" like Phelps and being a self obsessed workaholic swimming on new years eve, (like Phelps). you have really brought out the philosopher in me today...

p.s. i thought epiphany was a girl i used to know before i got ordained...uhummmm LOL!

Frank Gardner said...

go rent Being There.

Barbara Pask said...

I know what you mean about being obsessed, I am so obsessed with painting. I do have to remind myself sometimes that there are so many more important things in life like family and I don't want to miss any of that. It never seems to leave my mind though, what can you do??

mike rooney said...

frank- i'll look for it the next time at the dvd store. whats it about? a painting addict and his friends and family supprise him with an intervention and he goes to rehab (smile)

barbara- you sound like me and want to paint at the exclusion of everything else. its not that we get up and think....hmmmmm today, i'll only paint instead of visit my friend joe in the hospital. or i'll just paint these two or three 6x8s ive got swimming in my head and wont phone my mother...
thats just the way it works out.
but franks post yesterday showed me a guy thats painting AND taking three weeks off. thats HUGE and foreign to me (that concept)
i think we have to make it as much as a priority to visit joe and call mom, and take time off, as we do pleasing our muse.
i'm open to suggestions.... what are some things we can concretely do so they dont throw us in painters rehab unvoluntarily LOL

bonnieluria said...

Mike- I segued here from Franks post because of your comment to him.
Seems we all find that balance that works for us and it's often determined by the age we are in life when we reevaluate those things.

As artists there's always this tendency to compare, and be self critical but really, if we do what we feel is true to ourselves, we're in the game. It's like having a pulse. I'm always glad I can say I do.

Seeing your paintings and the zest you feel about doing it is proof enough that you're running your own race.

PS to you and Frank- Being There.
A sweet, tender life affirming movie - bit of a switch for Peter Sellers, and didn't he play a character who's name was Chauncey Gardner!!

Worth watching.

Frank Gardner said...

Right you are Bonnie.
A great flick. Chauncey Gardener would be the spelling on that one probably :o)

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I came over from Frank's blog to see the 'rant', but I've found that life gets in the way of learning how to be a really great painter.

I am obsessed too but, because I know I can be good if I really work it but, I found that posting was hanging over my head and if I didn't paint I was a slacker and I don't want it to be like that. I love being able to post my work and I know more people have seen it since I began my blog. I love the comments and that's the kick for me. I've discovered that I can't snap out one after another. It's not me.
I like what Bonnieluria said, "If we do what we feel is true to ourselves, we're in the game. It's like having a pulse."

Amen

mike rooney said...

bonnieluria- youre right about us always comparing and self judging. i wonder if thats because we're always judging and comparing in our work. just a thought.
your post was affirming and hopeful. i checked after a verry long day painting today and i still do have pulse, so thats good LOL thanks for stopping by.

mary- the obsessive desire to get better and better needs to be tamed in folks like us i think. it doesnt come naturally, at least not for me. i'm almost fifty, the kids are all raised and gone and now it seems all i can think about is making sure that i dont waste a minute. my favorite saying is
"i'll rest when i'm dead!"
dont worry about your posting. most "daily painters" arent! most of em arent posting three times a week anymore. give yourself a reprieve and enjoy it when and if you do post. i promise i'll take my own advice. ok i'll try! LOL
thanks for your thoughts mary

Carol Schiff Studio said...

Amen! Don't you think it takes some of the joy of painting away when we pressure ourselves to always excel? I may not be the BEST, well I KNOW I'm not the best, but I try to get my satisfaction my feeling MY improvement. There is a time to paint and a time to put the brushes away.
By the way, love your paintings!
Carol

mike rooney said...

carol
you make an excellent point i hadnt even considered.
trying to excel every single painting can be toxic after awhile. it has a cumalative effect of sapping joy and passion after weeks, months, and years.
thats why i love this blogging thing. we can exchange the good and the bad about our profession with those who are walking in our shoes, to both our advantages.
thanks for the kind words about my work and especially for the insight today. please come back ok?