Philip Spear

Night Work
32 x 24 in.

The art of making art is more about persistence, keeping one’s focus, hard work, sweat and frustration compared with the relative viewer’s easy image of the ‘glorious artist’s lifestyle.’ Besides keeping oneself in the studio everyday, there is the endless self-promotion efforts until someone happens to be at the same place you are and they have some clout in the art world. Art demands quiet and solitude and may appear to be ‘laziness’ when the mind and soul are very hard at work to either get in touch with the inner artist or to solve a dilemma of how to fix an ‘iffy’ piece of art.

I recall reading Robert Motherwell’s and Philip Guston’s musings about their own uncertainty about where they were going with their art. This work ethic frustration plagues every artist who is honest within their personal world. Each path is solitary and single and will be walked mostly alone. When I hear someone say; “I wish I was an artist too.” I can’t help but ask them to explain before I tell them of the financial, emotional and physical drain of searching for TRUTH regardless of how ignored or dismissed it may be.

The bottom line is that physical labor is not only necessary to maintain one’s art but is hypercritical to staying committed beyond the customary potholes and obstacles along the journey.

© Philip Spear