I am a writer. Often, when I’m in a group of artists and I identify myself that way, they tell me that makes me an artist. I can be in the club. And it’s not that I don’t agree. But I realized that I really have no idea how you guys do what you do, and I went out and bought some acrylic paints and brushes.
This is a long-delayed gratification. I’ve always wanted to try painting, but it’s an expensive thing to try. So I bought red, yellow, blue, raw umber, and white and came home to try painting on cardboard. I thought it wasn’t such an expensive thing. Until I tried to paint and realized that a) I had no idea what I was doing and b) what I was doing absolutely sucked. That is when it seemed like a waste of money.
I’m not throwing in the paint just yet. Quite the contrary. I instead bought gel medium and better brushes and a pad of canvas. I also borrowed a book on acrylics from a friend. I’m not hopeful that anything great will come of it; I enjoy just messing around with the colors.
But I have gained something: greater respect for artists and a dose of personal humility. The respect thing clearly comes from the experience of how hard it is to apply paint to canvas (or cardboard) in the most basic way. As to the second quality, I’ve never been that person to walk around a museum muttering “I could do that.” Yet I do basically saunter around judging the art I see to be good or bad, and–god help me–I couldn’t do the worst of it. Well, maybe I could do the worst of it if I tried really, really hard.
So there you have it, a newly-humbled art blogger. Writer.