#PaintAnyway: Week 1! (And Is Painting Dead, I Think So)

It’s the end of the first week in August, and I’m still right on track!

Number of paintings worked on this week: 4
Number of days painted: 6/7. I took a day off yesterday to run around town with my husband and play Pokemon Go. I had originally planned on coming home and working, but it turned into ordering pizza and propping my feet up. (Know when to put down your brush and go play!)

Anyway, I had sort of a long talk with my husband Billy about what I’m even working towards here, and what’s the point. I’m halfway convinced that oil painting is a dying form of communication that no one knows how to comfortably approach anymore. I feel like the only people who are talking about art are the ones making it, and the only people buying art are buying prints of centuries-old famous pieces done by famous people. Any show you want to take part in requires a “nominal, per-piece fee,” and the people who show up to it don’t necessarily want to buy any of it anyway. There may be that one guy – or two guys – those one or two times who want to purchase, but that’s EVER. And there are hundreds of websites and books that try to convince artists that if they work hard enough and plow through every known avenue they can make a career and a living selling their paintings. There are thousands of working painters who network with each other trying to figure out which festivals and galleries are worth their salt, which websites can they sell through, and when to get desperate enough to try to sell an original piece on Etsy.com for $50.

I guess I don’t know where I belong, and I guess a lot of painters don’t know where they belong. If you play an instrument you can play in bars or with a band or in an orchestra or alone if you’re good enough. You can make wedding jewelry, makeup, soaps, or synthetic dread locks, and sell it all online. You can write a novel and send it to publishing houses, short stories to sell online, or comic books to sell at conventions. People with money purchase these things because it’s fun, they’re original, and they’re affordable. The same people will go to a local art walk as a fun date idea, buy nothing on the walls, maybe take one of the artist’s business cards (that’ll now lived smooshed in a wallet) and then go to Applebee’s.

And who cares? Why even should I care? I like to do a useless thing! Sure it’s amazing that humans can do it, but it’s amazing that humans can do lots of things – we sing opera, take pictures of Pluto, and print things in 3D! At this point in human history, painting isn’t all that impressive anymore – we already had the Dada movement. Pretty sure painting is over.

This week I do it because painting an emu making a shrieking face makes me laugh while I paint it.

(Also I’m sorry if this post is a downer, it’s just something that’s been on my mind.)

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