We’ve had a busy beginning to the graduation/summer season visiting friends and family. Often folks at these get-togethers look at me curiously and ask how things are going. Are they waiting for the confession - yes I am an artist doing what artists do, whatever we do in the studio. Maybe they wonder: Could there be nudes in the studio? Wild parties, loose women, drinking strange substances and cutting off earlobes? No, nothing so dramatic in this life as an artist.
I pulled out an article I wrote a few years ago about confessing to an upscale art gallery that , yes I am an artist. The gallery liaison looked me over and stifled a snicker – no funky clothes, no beret. I wanted to defend my statement but that would have taken that incredulous look off her face.
It is not easy putting your hopes and dreams out there for people you hardly know to examine your soul. But look how far I’ve come, me, writing a blog on the creative process for the whole world to see. That process includes endless questioning and self-doubt, rushing me back to my worn copy of Art and Fear – Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking (Bayles & Orland).
Yes, I am an artist, I can tell by all the painted clothes hanging on hooks in my studio, by the storage bins swelling with comfort smelling oils on canvas, with a bookcase full of painter’s catalogs, and best, the genuinely positive comments from dear friends, family, and customers regarding the new works displayed on the website (www.joelellisart.com). Most importantly, I think I am an artist because I know creating the forms and colors is really fun and exciting, even though I still have all my earlobes (with apologies to Vincent Van Gogh, who I greatly admire).
Enjoy these lovely days of summer,
Cooling of the Dunes by Joel F. Ellis
Best of Show, Mid-Michigan Art Guild, 2012