Is an Artist Born or Made?

21 Jul 2013

Jeremiah by Michelangelo Buonarroti, Sistine Chapel, 1511.
Jeremiah by Michelangelo Buonarroti,
Sistine Chapel, 1511.
Rondanini Pieta by Michelangelo, 1564.
Rondanini Pieta by
Michelangelo, 1564.
I think the affinity that I have for art is definitely inborn. Art isn’t something I grew up with or was tutored in, so when I stumbled upon it on my own, something clicked. The natural ability to draw and paint is ingrained in some people, too. But not all of us are gifted with an innate artistic sense, and I don’t think talent cancels out the equally important willingness and desire to steep yourself in and truly perfect your craft.

Some artists have egos and some even have enough talent for them to believe their work is heaven-sent—a panacea that can change the world. Me? I’ve never felt more human than when I’m drawing or watercolor painting. That’s when I feel truly humble, as I fumble and grope for ways of capturing the life, atmosphere, movement, and excitement of the world around me in a drawing or painting. But don’t get me wrong—it is an impassioned struggle, a glorious goal worth reaching for.

Whenever I pick up a pencil or brush, I think of Michelangelo. He was gifted beyond belief and is at the zenith of Western art, but his life wasn’t easy—it set the precedent for the kind of mental anguish and doubt that put truth to the term “tortured artist.” He constantly felt that his hands could never attain what he saw in his mind’s eye. No matter how much arrogance and umbrage he displayed in public, he was plagued by the same indecision and doubt that I feel when I’m really committed to a project but am not quite sure if it is going to come together the way I hope.

One of Michelangelo's sketches for figures in the Sistine Chapel.
One of Michelangelo's sketches for
figures in the Sistine Chapel.
That’s why I make it a point of seeking out new inspiration and quality art instruction. Without either of these, you can’t hope to fully utilize the talent and skill you have. Splash: Best of Watercolor Digital Collection is a downloadable resource filled with inspirations, methods, and works of hundreds of watercolor painting artists.

As you know I've been dabbling more and more in watercolor painting, and the insight and detail in this digital kit is incredible. This Splash edition is a 3-magazine set and a good starting point if you aren’t sure how to bring together your creative abilities and technical skills. It’s also an engaging resource that can provoke new ideas and confidence with brushstrokes and paint manipulation, which are both key to making significant breakthroughs in your watercolor work. Enjoy!


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Comments

rebahaus wrote
on 15 Oct 2010 7:56 AM

I agree with you as too "Is an Artist born or made?

There are so many emotions that go into creating a peice of artwork. As you say picking up a brush and being able to "Create a Vision" is and can be trying, but in the end when you do captivate the feeling it is such a feeling of accomplishment and joy!

Rebecca

on 15 Oct 2010 12:42 PM

Ms Jordan, I enjoy your articles and I LOVE your face ! ! !

Clyde Broadway

roseartist wrote
on 22 Jul 2013 11:12 AM

I agree that the artist is inborn; however without the discipline of good art teachers, it is impossible to perfect or reach any level of skill.

Good art teachers are not always the great artists.  Teaching is a call or specialty that is not common or easy to find.  My first art teacher was a master at both; he is no longer available and I need to find a teacher dedicated enough to want you to be as good or better than he or she is.  My destination is portraits; a futile journey to date; but I have not given up trying to find one.

roseartist wrote
on 22 Jul 2013 11:12 AM

I agree that the artist is inborn; however without the discipline of good art teachers, it is impossible to perfect or reach any level of skill.

Good art teachers are not always the great artists.  Teaching is a call or specialty that is not common or easy to find.  My first art teacher was a master at both; he is no longer available and I need to find a teacher dedicated enough to want you to be as good or better than he or she is.  My destination is portraits; a futile journey to date; but I have not given up trying to find one.

kristinsande wrote
on 22 Jul 2013 8:33 PM

Both!  I was born an artist, but I'm far from perfect, and definitely "tortured", lol.  I've learned a lot from others, and I'm still learning every day.  Anyway, I think the desire to create is as important  as natural ability (or more important!).