Blog / 2023 / The Only Skill You Really Need as an Artist
January 17, 2023
I talk more about how clouds kick my painterly butt in this video about my largest sky (and water) painting to date.
The original paintings featured in this video are for sale for $100 each plus shipping (and tax if you live in New Jersey), and there are prints and pretty things with the pink piece here in my print shop.
You might think that all artists really need is skill in their chosen medium. You might think that painting well is what matters most if you want to be a painter, for example, but that’s not how it actually works in my experience.
After twenty years as a professional full-time artist, it is my expert opinion that the only skill you really need is believing in yourself.
Caveat: my self-esteem has always been rather shaky, so it’s possible that I focus more on this element of being an artist than on others, because, well, maintaining the mental fortitude necessary to be an artist takes up a lot of my own personal brainspace. Still, I think that confidence impacts success more than most artists might like to admit.
These cloud paintings were many things for me. They helped me process feelings about my father’s death since he and I both appreciate—or appreciated—the sky’s daily transformations. But they were also a test of my abilities and of my belief in myself.
The question was: can I make interesting images of just the sky and nothing else?
The answer is: I still don’t know.
Grief is a cloudy thing. Sometimes, it’s completely amorphous and hard to pin down, whereas other times, you know exactly what it is, like seeing a profile in the shapes of a thunderhead. Unfortunately for me, when I recognize my grief, it’s because it’s making me think that nothing I do matters.
That said, I’m proud of myself for finishing these paintings and prouder still that I’m sharing them. It’s not truly believing in myself, but it comes close. It’s me acknowledging my uncertainty and my grief, instead of pretending like everything’s okay.
This video is made with love and microdonations from my community!
Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!
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