|Seeing John Phillip Osborne at his canvas reminds me of all the things I think of and value as an artist.
I know I don't have to explain it to all of you
, but when I am in situations with
people who aren't as passionate about art I find myself trying to explain and
justify my commitment—to painting, drawing
, sculpture, all of it. I mean, I
relate to everything—history, pop culture, and even my own emotions and
relationships—through art. It just feels like a natural part of me, and is the
language that I want to speak in and communicate with.
That's why when I think of what it means to be a painter
this picture comes to my mind. An artist, surrounded by his or her painting
studies and oil painting sketches, seemingly lost in the work that is springing
up before your very eyes.
I love the fact that the oil painting in the photo, a work
by John Phillip Osborne, is so large; truly dominant. I think to myself that if
I was sitting where the artist is, the painting on the easel would be all I
could see, all I could think about. That is how consuming and intense the
artistic process can be.
There is also a calmness and matter-of-factness to the feel
of the photo. The artist isn't puffed up and putting on airs. He doesn't even
look like he's aware his photo is being taken. He's lost in the work, and just
in the moment, content to work and continue the conversation that is going on
between him and his painting.
That kind of devotion and focus is truly what makes an
artist. That's what I remind myself when
I'm sitting with friends or family trying to figure out how to convey my
passion for to painting and art in general to others.
But no matter how much I might struggle with how to tell
other people about my love for art, my devotion to it has never waned. And I
can say the same of American Artist
magazine. For more than seven decades(!), American
Artist has stayed committed to the artists and work that have enriched our
history, allowed us to grow as artists ourselves, and given us the opportunity
to share that love of art with each other. Your subscription (and now your digital subscription!) to American Artist allows us to continue to
do that with one another. Enjoy!
P.S. What comes to mind when you think of an artist or your art practice. I'd love to hear, so leave a comment and let me know!