I wonder as I paint, what is all this art about. And who exactly is an artist? What instrument can we use to detect who is a "real "artist, and who is bogus?
And if everyone on the planet is using their idle time to "make art", because it's "good to try something new", because it's "fun", because it is "therapeutic", because it will keep them from aging as quickly...then, I wonder who is an artist, and will my driver's license and voter registration card serve as my credentials to make me legitimate? Is everyone who makes pictures "an artist"?
It used to seem that some individuals were naturally talented in this direction and drew or painted exceptionally well from an early age. Some of those people were lucky enough to have the opportunity to study somewhere to improve those skills. Some were lucky enough to select a means of earning a living that grew out of their artistic talents. Many of those continued to create "fine art" on their own time, evenings, weekends, whenever they could. It truly seemed that they were gifted, not mediocre, not everyman, but blessed with an innate talent.
Then, to separate the professional artist (or accomplished artist) from the dabblers, when there were exhibitions of art, entries were placed in different categories, amateur and professional artists. This doesn't occur often anymore, if ever. Because anyone who can draw a line on paper, anyone who can lift a paintbrush, anyone who can make random strokes of color on a sheet of paper, good, bad, or otherwise, is now "an artist". Would we call a person playing twinkle twinkle little star on a scratchy violin a musician? Where is our aesthetic sense, or lack of it, leading us? Where are the criteria? Or can anyone who can tie his shoelaces neatly "an artist"?
It takes talent, study, practice, experimentation, refinement, that innate ability to draw, to perceive colors or shapes in a superior way, to organize an image in a beautiful or meaningful, or emotional way that is interpretive and transports us beyond the ordinary. It's good that so many people are interested in creating art. I hope they are in it for the long haul, studying and practicing, with a genuine goal of creating something original, extraordinary, skilled, visionary, better than your "average cookie". Trek on, seeking excellence. It's not a "happy accident". It's a mature investment of "self" seeking development on a higher plane.
OKAY! I'll get off my soap box! I felt compelled!