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I've enjoyed this thread immensely. Thank you all for contributing.
Art is funny like that, most people never meet the people who inspire them through the images they create.
If there is anything which makes our lives bearable, it is art in its many forms.
Out there... away from highways and the hustle-bustle of our busy communities, is another world which many of us have experienced both as a pleasure or, perhaps, a troublesome episode in our lives (like meeting a mother bear and her cubs on a walking trail).
Well said and I agree with every point.
BTW… my first jobs were on farms; cleaning out pig sties, milking cows, loading bales of hay on wagons or in the barn and, best of all, driving everything from a tractor to a huge front end loader. I loved farm work and my wife constantly says I should have had my own farm.
From there on I was a shoe salesman, junior forest ranger, a railroad worker, cattle rustler, managing a record store, loading various airplanes in Yellowknife Airport and so forth before settling into a long time job with a utility company. I don’t regret any of those jobs because they provided me with the means to have a family and a home.
Over all those years, I’ve met many artists and a few of them became very well known, either by being incredibly proficient at providing affordable works to a majority of art lovers or, because they are so exceptionally talented that they’ve caught the eye of notable galleries. The former, of course, is the much easier route.
I’ve also met amazing artists who struggled with loneliness and extreme poverty. It breaks my heart when I see their situation expressed in their art, but, there too I have seen a measure of eventual success. Some do go on to become recognized.
The last thing I’d ever worry about is an uneducated dismissive attitude from a critic. I figure if someone can’t explain why they don’t care for a painting or understand the reasoning behind its intent, then it is a fault of their own and not mine. Best they just sniff their noses and move along. On the other hand, constructive criticism is something I want. It shows that they care and that’s just wonderful.