I met a man today in his 70's, who had been an artist for many years.
He told me, "That I only paint trees."
I asked, "Why is that?"
He replied, "I met a man, who was an artist, that said that he would never paint a tree, not even for a million dollars! Well, I decided that from then on I will only paint trees."
After hearing his reply, I just stared at him stupefied. I wanted to say, "You spent a career just painting trees just because you are obstinate?"
Of course, I couldn't say that, but I thought that I really should. Well, I won't challenge him, but I am going to challenge you. I believe that is the dumbest thing to be influenced by. I went ahead and looked at the man's trees because he had his little sketch pad with him. After looking at several of the pages, I realized that he didn't even paint real trees...only made up trees, from as far as I can tell.
As I was reviewing his sketch pad, he informed me that he is a professional photographer. I asked, "You must have a lot of photos of trees."
He replied, "No, I only photograph nudes, but I paint trees. I don't actually sell anything; I just let my wife support me."
Well, what do you say to that?
So, again, I challenge you. I think that it's nice to be an artist, and there are all kinds of artists. I feel that it's better to come from a "positive" standpoint than one of being ornery and on the defensive. It seems that art just depressed him, and he came to it kinda backward. Art should bring you joy.
Then I asked, "Well, did you ever sell anything? What made you say that?"
"Well, it's George Bush's fault that I don't sell my art," he said.
"How so?" I replied.
"Well, back when Bush was president, he said, 'I guess we really are in a depressed economy and have been for about a year and a half.' Bush said that on national television! Presidents aren't supposed to make those type of announcements on public television! After he said that, all of the art galleries that I was in went bankrupt, and I never sold another thing. I just gave up. Now, my house is filled with paintings of trees, and my wife tries to give them away to anyone that comes by."
I think that this is a life lesson. At the time, I couldn't understand why the Universe was bringing me this man. But it seems to me that this is a life lesson on what not to do.
So, I hope that you never get in the position of saying, "I only paint dogs" or "I never paint cats, because wife likes cats, and I hate her."
Find some better reasons why you paint something.
And if you do find yourself like this gentleman, ask yourself...
"Do I want to paint on the positive side of things or the negative?"
The choice is yours.