Friday, February 25, 2011

Ten Bull-It Points to Remember

1. You don't have to be very smart to make a lot of money at representational oil painting--I did it! 
2.  It helps to be smart at handling the money you make at oil painting--I wasn't!
3.  It is far easier to talk about oil painting than to actually paint--I promise!
4.  The collective IQ of representational oil painters today is lower than it was 125 years ago--the artistic brains in the culture have opted for feature film creation, for TV production, and for start up ventures--why not!
5. Oil painting workshops, art magazines, how-to art books, art videos, art conferences, art shows and art competitions, don't help the purpose--what purpose?
6. Ah, the purpose--that's the rub isn't it?  The purpose is for individual human beings to create paintings that arrest the attention, that stir the soul, that point to the mystery-the paradox-the glory-the hiddeness of existence--that kindle the imagination.  Paintings that don't preach but point to something previously unseen, unheard, untouched, unheralded in our brief journey on the planet.  Paintings that shut our mouths and open our hearts and minds in ways previously unimagined.  Paintings that shift the collective perception, that make us weep, or at least take off our hats in the presence of something great even if we can't talk about greatness. Paintings that endure over time because they are--well......timeless.  Come on now!--you can add to this list--or maybe you just haven't thought about oil painting this way. 
7. Number 6 gets to the heart of the matter--half assed purpose, motive, design--call it what you want--it's missing big time.  
8. Art is in the life, not in the paint.  The paint only let's others know that you were here and tried to paint your here--ness.
9. Since none of us can do the above--let's join the art as therapy movement, paint a painting a day for 50 days, sell our daubs to the rich and stupid, and call ourselves artists--might as well--it's kinda fun. 
10.  How do ya like me now?  Who loves ya?  Don

Previously Unimagined--Grandparenting!


  1. don, don, don...
    You did it again... synthesized the whole artistic notion in 10 easy steps, and left us feeling hopeful and helpless all at the same time.
    I'm cancelling my order of 100 small canvases for the daily painting thing.
    You have TWO grandbabies?
    How did you do that with the camera?
    I think I'll go watch your DVD again...

  2. And you my dear Don, what do you think about my painting ?... Do you think i'm a fruitcake painter ? ...
    It's true i try to put all my sensibility and emotion in my painting, so much of my. I'll try to stay me... Yes i can't please for everybody, but i think it's important for me to keep what i feel. I can still understand that i can learn again and again regarding the technique for a better outcome.
    I would like happy to receive an answer...
    I'm sending you kisses...
    Sorry for my bad english but Susan has told me that you don't understand my french language...

  3. Your words are as impressive as your art. I hope you don't mind that I copied #6 and attached it to my blog. (with credit to you of course).

    I am still trying to figure out how I can get to your workshop in Maine, short of hitch-hiking. Maybe I'll try the camping thing.

  4. Don, are you keeping all your words of wisdom in a book for those lovely grandchildren of yours?

  5. you ROCK on #6 Mr. Hatfield!! MY hat is off to you. Thank you for speaking for how it needs to be.