A better title for this post might have been "Artist Or Travel Agent?" Being an artist in Maine isn't easy. I know many think it is. Being an artist isn't really "easy" anywhere but I've often heard, "How lucky you are to live in such a beautfiul place!" Well, that's true but I don't really want to work for the Maine Department of Tourism. That's not what painting is about to me. There's a 'truth of life' that I'm after even if the scene is "pretty," and much of that scenery here in Maine is. It's a constant struggle. I've seen many, many landscapes and seascapes depicting the postcard nature of the state in idealized splendor. A great many artists come here from other locales just to capture beauteous snapshots. But I live here and have all my life. So I know there is much, much more to it than just that. This is what I try to put in my artwork. The "romanticized" view isn't for me. Even if it is a "pretty" scene, I prefer a harder edge and strive for that.
Have you ever stopped and looked at a scene, I mean really looked at it? Watching a sloop pass by a pretty cove is one thing. But what of the clammer who had been there at low tide in the hot noonday sun, breaking his back to dig those clams? He was there before everything got all nice and cozy with the setting sun. No, not a "pretty" scene but one I've come to know well over the years.
Or what about the beauty one sees while looking through a frost covered window?
"Ten Degrees" 4"x4" oil on linen © 2008 Brian Kliewer
The harsh, cold reality of winter doesn't always bring with it beautiful, sweeping, blue shadows over a field of sparkling snow. But the "beauty" is still there...if you want to look. Beauty is where you find it. You just have to look!
Well that's my "artful thought" for the day.