So to balance things out about the whole “am I an artist thing?” I offer this perspective from an amazingly down to earth lady who helped get me through my MA by telling me to buck up and get on with it (I wanted it after all!) when I was whining about how hard the work was or how lonely I felt without my family or whatever(I spent a lot of time whining that year). Wizzle feels she always knew she was an artist – and maybe some of you do too, so here’s her view –
and then from the other side of the coin, never let it be said I am not fair and unbiased, these words from Maya Angelou, who one would think would have her artistic definition firmly in place, but as it turns out – not so much
“Each time I write a book, every time I face that yellow pad, the challenge is so great. I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a great game on everybody and they’re going to find me out'”
I think Tony makes some really insightful observations and in response I would say I think we can all recognize that walking into the wind feeling. Perhaps the hardest part about being an artist is it is like breathing, you cannot stop, no matter how inconvenient it may be. And so few understand that unless they have walked into the wind too.
As to imitating the masters I would say it is the most tried and true method of learning. I would hazard to guess that most of us do it. I certainly do, when I was painting I would drive my husband nuts in galleries by trying to figure out technique instead of admiring the result!! When I am at a book fair or a gallery or museum I find not only inspiration but often a new puzzle to unravel, a structure or method I have never seen, and when I am stuck I will work from books and examples just to get flowing again. I know I cannot be alone in this, so speak up out there!!