“Tortured Artist” – the term conjures up all kinds of images. Van Gogh, Edvard Munch, Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse whose troubled lives ended tragically. Thankfully, I’m not one of them.
But, as an artist (not nearly as good or as famous,) many of the same struggles they faced as artists also befall me. I just don’t suffer from mental illness. I do though encounter some of their same artistic angst in my own little basement studio. I just cuss and crumple up reams of paper. Take people for example.
I am not a “people person” to begin with. And I say that with brutal honesty and a little embarrassment. Oh I can dish it with the best of them, but I am not comfortable in most social situations. Indeed this translates to my art. I paint animals. Animals are not complicated like humans. They pretty much are who they are. Ya’ get what you see with a dog (or a cat, ferret, pig, etc.) People are so complex and truly only the best artists of our time were/are somehow able to capture that complexity in their portraits. Painting people I know is toughest of course. Making a multi-dimensional character into a two dimensional representation is something I find incredibly frustrating and I sometimes want to throw a tantrum and pluck my own eyes out (I don’t though, Vincent).
But oh how I want to get there. I WANT TO SO BADLY that I keep trying and trying, and THAT my dear ones, is why I will remain, faithfully a tortured artist.
self portrait in colored pencil 6″x 8″ “Eyes”
[Prismacolor NuPastel and Derwent Colored Pencil on Strathmore Dry Media Paper]
Thanks for reading ~m