Friday, May 9, 2008

Ferret WIP - Final Edition

I'm one to continue to tweak and fiddle even after a painting is supposed to be finished. This is a habit I'm trying to break although it does a lot of good sometimes to put a painting away for a while then bring it back out when you can view it with fresh eyes. However, there is a point where too much fiddling can do substantial harm so I'm calling this finished - at least for the time being! lol

Painting by Jan Gibson
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Everytime I do a pastel pencil painting, I always say I won't do another one. I'm learning to never say never in this case though. I won't say that the pencils have become my favorite medium but I will say that there are subjects and instances where they seem to be the best choice.

For instance, they're way faster than colored pencil but even so, I probably have 20 hours or more invested into this painting. Jeanette, on her Illustrated Life blog, was talking of how long paintings/drawings actually take while most non-artists believe that that they can be done quickly with no effort. She was also saying that artists aren't compensated for their efforts as others in different fields are.

I've been pondering that. I'm not a girly-girl but I do like to have a manicure and pedicure from time to time. It usually takes the manicurist thirty minutes or less to do both finger and toe nails & that's if I've missed going for a month or so. Counting drying time, I'm usually out of there in less than an hour and I leave nearly $50 poorer if you add in the tip.

I realize the manicurists are professionals and the salon has overhead expenses but so do artists. Not even counting renting studio space, artist materials are really through the roof these days. And, unless you're a BIG name, I don't think most artists are even thought of as professionals and very, very few even make minimum wage with a painting when all is said and done. I know I don't.

Perhaps it's because artists are so passionate about their work and enjoy what they do. But, I think professional singers are both passionate about and enjoy their work also. Basketball, baseball, football players, etc., movie actors/actresses - well, you get the idea. And, I also know that not everyone who enjoys those activities makes the big bucks. But, they are usually not asked to do something for free and their skills are still respected. And, I guess that's really the bottom line. It would be nice to be respected for the work we do. Yes, it's actually work even though I think most people believe artists are born with some magical skill and therefore it's nothing the artist has done that deserves respect.

I think most artists are born with
perhaps a leaning toward art but that doesn't mean they don't have to work at becoming skilled at it. There are some child prodigies who may have had a heavenly vision or visitation and had talent and ability conferred upon them but most artists have to learn to use their tools of the trade just as any other profession must learn their tools.

So, this pretty little ferret was part of my artistic education - it cost in terms of time and materials but all professionals pay for their education in some way or another! I'm just glad I had the opportunity to paint her.


Susie said...

Beautiful painting, the mask around the eyes is what gives the ferret a unique feature, and you captured that look.

Jan said...

Thank you, Susie. I've never seen a live ferret but was intrigued and inspired by the photo posted by Mrs Center at the Stock Xchng.

I'm grateful that you felt my painting captured the ferret "look."


Paulette said...

Just beautiful!!
I don't think you can say pastels aren't your thing anymore.

Jan said...

Thanks, Paulette. Well, I do seem to do some things better with the pastels than in other media, but I'm still not sure I like THE PENCILS/STICKS, I just like the results! lol