Motivation and Means But No Purpose

Whenever I do a painting or drawing just to get one done for the night I feel as if I have the motivation and means but no purpose, beyond just filling the daily quota. Although it is very important to me that I do art daily. I believe that time is the biggest proponent for increasing my skill as an artist. Yet, I wonder about purpose.

I follow lots of living artists; Richard Schmid, James Gurney, David Kassan and many others. For each of them I can see a clear purpose. James Gurney is an illustrator that is extremely active online with blog posts and youtube videos connecting with the art world through his sketchbook. David Kassan is an amazing portrait and figure artist. Richard Schmid, well he does just about everything, and I find it hard to pin him down to one subject matter. It seems to me that all these artists have a passion for a particular aspect of art.

I would like to have a more specific direction with my art beyond doing it daily. It’s great that I’m to a point now where art daily is a habit and not a problem for me at all to complete work. This was a great hurdle to overcome. Now it’s time to move to the next stage and find a clear purpose. It may take some time and a lot of thought but I’m sure I will figure it out.

Motivation and Means But No Purpose: apple still life setup
Apple still life setup

Today’s painting was a quick setup with an apple and a small dish. I didn’t give much thought to composition, I just wanted to start painting something.

Motivation and Means But No Purpose: apple still life subject
Still life subject photo

Maybe I will find purpose by just choosing what I like best? The following list is just some of the aspects I could focus on.

  • Still life
    • I like still life, but honestly I do it because at the end of the day when it’s time to work this is the best option for me.
  • Landscape
    • I don’t get to paint landscapes much at all. I do most of my art at the end of the day, so it’s either dark or I’m too tired to go on location. Of course I could paint from photos but I still have a bit of stigma against photos.
  • Portrait
    • No chance of getting a model here. I could do self portraits all the time.
  • Figure
    • I love drawing the figure, but I feel like I would need to expand on it with the use of models. Which would mean that I would have to rely on photos.
  • Interiors
    • These are like larger still life works. I did enjoy painting those random interior setups that I used to do months ago.
  • Charcoal
    • by far my favorite drawing medium.
  • Oil
    • My favorite painting medium.
  • Gouache
    • I’m still not so sure about Gouache, it’s great for particular subjects, but I’m not feeling as much passion for it as oils.

Just a small list to help organize my thoughts and a possible direction. Of course I could combine a few of these art aspects into one. I have a lot of thinking to do.

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