(title pending approval by the CTO
Chief Title Officer/wife)
oil on canvas
I almost named this Dream Boat because I like to dream that someday I will be able to live and paint in Nova Scotia or Maine, then be able to paint scenes like this every morning.
I will let this painting sit for about a week or two before officially declaring it finished. Also, my Council of Four must file their critiques before it is officially released. Every emerging artist should have an entourage he can depend on for critiques, titles, encouragement and suggestions because art can be a dangerous career choice.
Left alone to his own thoughts of what it means to be a successful artist, the artist in training can quickly become overwhelmed and discouraged and begin to slip into melancholy and despair.
So I thought it would be a good idea to post the warning signs of artistic depression for all those artist support people out there. Post these on the refrigerator at home . (That is the first place a depressed artist goes.)
There are four stages that lead to creative impotence that every artist- wanna- be should be aware of. Have your support team look for these signs and have an intervention plan ready.
The first warning sign is, not caring enough to clean the studio. This leads to using dirty brushes and getting lazy with putting out enough fresh paint. Also playing Barry Manilow over and over again in the studio is a dead give away something is wrong. Catching artistic depression early is the key to a quick recovery.
The second sign, the artist begins to take a lot of breaks. You'll begin to hear the excuses roll out " I need time to recharge my creative batteries", or "I need to take a step back", and the 911 call for help..." I'm working it out in my head"... At this point he may begin to drink an excessive amount of tea. This is usually followed by binge eating and weight gain, or compulsive shopping in art stores for " just one more brush".
Third, the self pity and self doubt stage. " I can't paint, I'll never be good enough..." this requires quick intervention and encouragement by the support team. However, they need to be very careful. Giving the artist reminders of how Aunt Martha still loves the painting he did in third grade, may do more harm than good.
Last, the artist stops showering, brushing his teeth, combing his hair. He makes statements like" I can make more money at McDonald's" Now is the time for emergency action , and a dose of reality.
The support person should sit the artist down someplace other than the studio, make a nice cup of herb tea to calm him down then repeat these words very gently.
" If you think making money and working at McDonald's or Walmart will make you happy... then I'll support you in that effort."
Don't be surprised if your artist's creative output for the next week is at a frantic pace. Fear, when applied by a trained artist support person can be a great motivator. Good luck!