Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"Just Paint"

"Just Paint" I am so grateful to have received over the years some of the best advice anyone could ever hope for. Words can have great power - if we can only learn to really hear ; let them motivate us, and give us strength. The great visionary Buckminster Fuller addressed our Uni class when I was far too young to grasp much of anything he had to offer. At the end of his talk however, he said something that hit me so hard that it has stayed with me always (to paraphrase). "I firmly believe that people are capable of doing most anything they want to do. The problem is that most people never take the time or make the effort to figure out what the hell that is. So I urge all you kids to find out. Find something you love and want to do with your life - and then just go out and do it!" I was shocked. But he was right. Years later I moved to NYC to "become an artist." Well I did, but with rent and food ,etc etc. it was all a bit more of a challenge than I bargained for. I had the starving part down - but not the artist part-) Still, in time, I was fortunate enough to turn my love of painting and watercolor into a great career as an architectural artist. This was fantastic, and enough for me for a time, but eventually I longed for more - I had higher aspirations. I wanted to be a "true artist" - a painter of my own vision - not an illustrator of someone else's. So about 5 years ago, I took a workshop with the one and only Joseph Zbukvic . Never did I aspire to paint like him (I mean - who could?) , but I did hope to learn how someone lived as a real artist in such a world as this. How do they define themselves? In those days, I would never even use the word "artist" to describe myself. But one night we were talking, and after politely listening to me and all my doubts and worries and excuses, Z said; "If you want to be a painter - Just Paint - all the rest will take care of itself." I didn't know how right he was at the time. But my life changed that day - changed from the inside out. And each day since, those words are more true to me than they were the day before. Here's an older painting - but one of the first I did after having at last the courage and conviction to begin to redefine and describe myself unapologetically as an "artist". Madison Square Park , NYC - Winter ; 2010

1 comment:

  1. Following work your way through the magazine related to Art of Watercolor (Americans and French) I also got to see ,at least some changes.

    Many architects are talented watercolorist at some point in their lives ... each with its own characteristics. In your work, always very well set
    now prevailing sentiment and emotion together with increased synthesis of the theme painted.
    Your watercolors seem to perfectly correspond to the feeling that this inspires today that you wrote. Also I am in a middle ground, where your words can be taken as an answer to my questions.
    Thanks Thomas to be an artist,  art and  in  life. Rita Vaselli