For most of my life, I have been a suffering artist. Unfortunately my vision is often a lot larger than my attention span. Put more simply, I want to be a master immediately without putting in the necessary work.
I tried piano lessons as a kid, but that went nowhere. Even at the age of eight I was way to cynical to practice playing "Here we go. Up a row. To a birthday party." Ridiculous.
Luckily music and I clicked in the seventh grade when I took guitar at school. I had always been a fan of classic rock courtesy of the Old Man's record collection, and my ex-hippy guitar teacher was only too happy to teach us how to play that stuff. The beauty about a band like the Beatles and rock in general is that a beginner can learn three chords and start playing good music. It isn't about the technicality, but the soul and the limitless harmonies that you can put on top of simple rhythms. Rock music comes from the intangible, emotional side of the human psyche; something that can't be taught. That being said, after twenty years of obsessing over rock, I like to think that I have learned to channel some of that dark magic. Don't get me wrong, I still grovel at the feet of my idols, some of which peaked and faded away when they were younger than I am now, but I have developed a certain style and I ain't a bad guitarist/ songwriter. Things aren't so easy for me, however, when it comes to paint on canvas.
A few years ago I started keeping a notebook of all my weird ideas. Basically I would think of some kind of play on words when I was flying on coffee and sketch it out. For example, cover a watch in fur and call it a sasque- watch. Too easy.
I am no master artist by any means, but I did start to notice a kind of child like style in my drawings that I thought had potential. Picasso's art reverted to a child like state towards the end of his career, but this was after years of innovative genius. In his case, he had plumbed the depths of what could be done with an image and come full circle, back to the pure joy of simplicity, while my drawing skills just peaked around the age of ten. This may sound harsh, but I am cool with it. Like I said, my pics do have a certain something and my off the wall brain is constantly providing new fodder.
Last Christmas The GFs mom, who is an art teacher, gave me a set of acrylic paints. I was thrilled. With visions of a glamorous art career racing through my head, I set to work.
Turns out painting actually takes time and effort. Boo!
It's not that I am bad, it's just that it takes time. The most frustrating thing to me is the amount of expensive materials that you go through while learning from your mistakes. With guitar, you screw up, start over, and never look back, but with painting you have a defaced twenty dollar canvas to forever remind you of your failure. This can be difficult for a perfectionist like me to deal with.
Yes, learning from your mistakes can be frustrating, but it is also the best way to learn, so I am just going to have to suck it up and keep improving. I figure that in a year or so I will have my first show at MOMA. That should be enough time.