For about a week and a half, I have been thinking about the stockbroker about whom Robert Genn wrote. This fellow decided he wanted to be "famous" and thought he'd give up his job to become an artist. Many artists wrote in response, pointing out that he had family responsibilities that should not be taken lightly. Others questioned his resolve, since his painting, to this point, had been sporadic.
My own feeling is that he may be undergoing a mid-life crisis and also may be having a case of "easel envy". Robert's success looks easy to him- but wanting fame is not a reason to be an artist. Painting is not about an easy route to success. Art is something you do because you can't NOT do it. Painting isn't just copying - it is conveying a feeling through an interpretation of what is seen - a constant struggle with intent and content. Jacob Lawrence said, "You must never pick up your paintbrush unless your heart is fully attached to it. Art is something that makes one a constant student. When it works and people respond to what we artists are trying to convey, we can identify with Mary Cassatt saying, "I have touched with a sense of art some people- they felt the love and the life. Can you offer me anything to compare to that joy for an artist?"