Friday, April 25, 2014

A Hobby

oil on wood,
24" x 12", 2014
The Top 100 is a hobby. That statement starts this site that thus far yielded over 400 paintings and drawings of my favorite musicians. There are about 2,500 of such images altogether. The opening statement then continues: the project has left the boys room and entered the realm of art. It is in that part of the statement where the trouble begins: The project doesn't work in the realm of professional entrepreneurship. The project works by virtue of the fan, the admirer, the amateur, the hobbyist. To maintain this project as an entrepreneur doesn't work, I have come to realize, but in stead of adjusting the business plan I've adjusted my expectancy level (adjusting to zero that is.) I have been able to this because of two reasons, the first of which is my new found career as an art history teacher. I have also been showing paintings that are nice and big—have nothing to do with the Top 100, that have an aura of professionalism. On top of it all I have gained, thanks mostly to an article on Lady Clementina Hawarden by Carol Armstrong, a new appreciation for amateurism. That in amateurism lies the attainment of the discipline (that this medium is photography in the article is a mere footnote.)

“In the classical sense the amateur is the antonym of the professional, and refers to those who pursue a problem for love rather than for the rewards the world may have to offer. In this sense the word often identifies the most sophisticated practitioners in a field. The other and more popular meaning (of amateur) identifies one who plays at his work: one not only less than competent, but less than fully serious...." (John Szarkozy, Looking at Photographs, 1975)

Psycho(self)analysis 101 teaches me that I thrive in amateur settings. There are no expectancy patterns, I'm free (a lot more came out of these 101 sessions but I keep that to myself:) As I celebration to my new freedom I took my paints to this open studio at a local arts center. (My own studio reminds me too often of a failed professional career.) There I picked up the joy of painting again. M.I.A., being this star with a global mass appeal, I considered an appropriate new start. Recently I bought (full price, I only do that about twice a year) M.I.A.'s Maya. I needed to do this because her song Born Free (currently residing at no. 1 in my 13/14 list) entered into the top 10 of my all time favorites. (These need to be owned in vinyl format in crisp condition.) The "Run for Your Life" source photo of M.I.A. has been a long time favorite, and I have attempted painting this several times.

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