I had a young artist come visit me in the studio the other day. A 19 year old walked in and began to wander and look at every painting with close detail before sharing his story. We had a discussion about how social media skews artist’s views on their own work and that it really matters who you know to make it in the art world. He then ran home to get a painting of his and we had an impromptu critique in the gallery. I loved it. My grandfather said that if you can inspire at least one person while you’re alive, you’ve lived a great life. I’m lucky to say my count of people is in the double digits.

I told him what I would want to hear at that age. One of my teacher’s always said “an artist makes around 200 bad paintings during the course of his life, so better do them sooner than later” You got to keep creating and just keep moving. No pressure when you work and who cares how many likes you get on Facebook when it’s done. Most of the older artists I met back in Canada always spoke like pricks and made you feel small. When I spoke to that young man today, I wanted to motivate and encourage him. These days it’s too easy to be an asshole.

deer-skull-study

There’s nothing really special to say about this piece. It’s a simple still life of an animal skull I snatched up at a flea market. As much as I may be a contemporary artist, I believe it’s important to keep sharp on traditional skills. Doesn’t matter what type of art you do even if it’s so conceptual and minimalistic to the point our minds would implode because of how meta it is, you should practice classical ways once in a while. That was a really long sentence.

My eyes feel refreshed and it’s nice not to look at a screen for a change. I wouldn’t declare this a genius piece from me. It’s academic, but I do what people will say when it’s in a museum. That statement sounds arrogant, but I’m serious. My ideal reality would be some young artists coming up to it and having one cry out “See! I told you he knew how to paint from life! He’s not some poser hiding behind skewed interpretations of postmodern art practice while distracting us using urban internet vocabulary in a high prestigious art setting”