Someone recently asked me why I paint. I responded with something l thought moderately profound at the time—something like “because it brings me peace, tranquility, and happiness.” But the question stayed in my mind. It forced me to really search my soul and think about the reasons behind why I do what I do. After all, only a handful of artists become recognized, celebrated, and wealthy. Why invest the time, energy, and resource commitment?
After plenty of introspection, I came to realize that I paint for a variety of reasons that have become layered and more robust over the years. At first, I looked at the act of painting as a challenge. I wanted to see if I could render something in a two-dimensional format that was a reasonable facsimile of the subject. I liked being able to create images of the things in my world that captured my interest, and I felt a sense of gratification and accomplishment when I produced quality work.
Once I honed my craft and I started to paint regularly and consistently, my sense of joy from painting really came from the reaction of others who complimented my work. The fact that people appreciate and praise what you do is very rewarding. The feedback I receive from my clients, friends, family, and other artists is strong motivation to continue and constantly work to get better.
Of course, there is also the financial aspect to consider. There’s no denying that one of the reasons I continue to paint is the financial benefit of doing good work. It’s a phenomenal feeling to be monetarily rewarded for what I do. Selling paintings covers the expenses of life during my retirement, but the income also allows me to continue to reinvest in myself. It’s extremely humbling to know that my artwork connects with people and inspires them to give up a bit of their hard-earned money to own one my pieces.
But the primary reason I create paintings is because I love life. I have a deep appreciation for the natural and manmade beauty that surrounds us everywhere we look. We only need to slow down and open our eyes to perceive that beauty. It’s so easy to be rushed, hurried, stressed, and negative, but one thing I’ve learned is that I can control my feelings and how I choose to view the world.
We can choose to be positive or we can choose to be negative—and I choose to be positive. My mission as an artist is to channel that positivity and bring a touch of peace, tranquility, and happiness to others through my work.