Love for one’s work

“Bound and Wounded” 7×5 inches, oil on panel @Wally Workman, SOLD

My feverish and unsatisfactory attempts were themselves a token of love, a love which brought me no pleasure but was nonetheless profound. – Marcel Proust

“Martyred Lover” 10×8 inches, oil on panel @ Meyer Gallery, Park City SOLD

In Swann’s Way, Proust’s narrator describes his relationship with the art of writing in the above quote. At a recent afternoon tea, (I heart afternoon tea), conversation turned towards the discussion of the enjoyment of one’s work. There were three of us there: myself, and two writers. The first writer somehow evaded directly answering the question, only glibly admitting that she never suffered writers block… a malady she assigned to those more original than herself.  The second, meanwhile, declared the joyful and meditative states induced by the activity of writing. As for myself, I love my work but rarely do I enjoy it. Drawing is pleasurable because it is immediately gratifying. Perhaps this is why I jealously guard my drawings and am reluctant to show them; they are my private joy. Painting on the other hand is too difficult and slow going. So why do I paint? For the same reason why Proust’s narrator pursues writing: love.  If drawing is the seed of an idea, then an oil painting for me is that idea fully realized. I am grateful for the privilege of making art for a living and my love for painting is deep and profound. And so I dedicate myself to something more tangible than that loaded word, art, and do my work as a craftsman would: day to day and with consistency. I am reminded of that artist’s adage: we do not have the right to the fruits of our labor, only to the labor itself. Or some such thing…


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 822 other followers