A Painter’s Job

by Lisa 

I love this question from people who mistake my life for one they would like to have:

Do you paint every day?

(Doubles over guffawing)

Here is a list of things that I do as part of my life being an artist:

– I shop for supplies

– I do my own framing to save money

– I teach

– I varnish paintings

– I stretch canvases

– I shop for still life props

– I photograph my work

– I get my work into the computer to print cards, flyers, etc. to send out digitally or through snail mail

– I blog about painting and put up with Bill

– I deliver paintings to my gallery (and just yesterday, I’ll have you know, I risked my life driving for two hours in the worst deluge Southern California has ever seen for the sake of delivering my work.)

Given more time, I’m sure I could come up with more. Right about now, you’re probably thinking that this post seems like an addendum to the last one, and that an awful lot of whining is going on about my “job” or lack thereof. I’ll bet you’ll all be glad to see Bill back next week.

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This entry was posted in On Suffering, Painting, Rants. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to A Painter’s Job

  1. gypsy-heart says:

    Putting up with Bill might be the most challenging.:) I admire that you do your own framing…my attempts at that were pitiful, just pitiful! Frames are so damned expensive…I have been doing a lot of wrapped canvas. I like the look of that anyway.
    I just remembered I owe you an email. I’ll dash one off this weekend. I am on Drayton and I have to help with projects…no painting today. :(

  2. Miki says:

    It is amazing, isn’t, Lisa, how most people don’t understand that artist is in fact a real job!!! There are days where I have so much to do of this work around the paintings -for example when I prepare exhibitions- that I can’t find one minute to paint!
    And the work to be present on the internet is quite a lot too…
    I can’t believe your make your own frames!! It’s such a hard and frustrating work… Kevin will surely tell you about his experience with it, when he’ll come back from his gig in England…

  3. lbtowers says:

    That’s exactly right, it IS a job, but one in which you don’t get all of the benefits the REAL job gives you like health insurance, retirement, etc. (which my last post was about.) This means one worries constantly. And yet I cannot picture myself being an employee.

  4. It’s interesting that no matter what our profession, we all find things to whine about. I guess that’s just part of being human. Under it all, however, if it wasn’t satisfying and EQUALLY important if you didn’t make enough to eat and provide yourself with shelter with it you’d HAVE to do something else. Thank goodness you can do something which for the most part you love and feel proud of!
    I used to whine about how much work I had to do as a Principal…. I worked my fanny off and delt with all sorts of nonsense. But it was challenging and interesting and I was proud of what I did.
    Keep up the good work.
    Since I’m retired, the food and shelter parts are taken care of and I can take pleasure in learning and trying to create something that looks like I envisioned it. Now all I whine about is what to do with all of these paintings I have….. no more wall space!! Whine, whine, whimper whimper.
    AIN’T LIFE GRAND???? :)

  5. kevmoore says:

    Lisa, firstly, I imagine putting up with Bill constitutes at least 50% of your free time, so I sympathise…secondly, as Miki mentioned it, I shall share with you my frustrations concerning my foolhardy and misguidedly gallant offer to “knock off a few frames for her”. I can’t begin to tell you how apopleptic I become when my precious frame mysteriously ends up not square. How the hell does that happen? I use a bolted down mitre saw for christ’s sake?!! How is it humanly possible? The clue there, of course, is the word “human” I’m human. I mess up. a lot. I end up pouring invisble glue into the gaping holes in the corners of my frames. The intended 90 degree mitres mock me, their gaps like laughing, accusatory mouths, grinning at my ineptitude. Sometimes, at exhibitions, a prospective buyer has remarked, “lovely painting, I would have bought it, but what an awful frame!” I want to to die. I mean, hand me a shovel, I’d dig the hole, right there, right then. Miki, bless her still views my “assistance” through love’s skewed lens, assuring me that “I am a great help.” Poor, misguided woman.

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