30 years of oil painting

In a few months I’ll celebrate 30 years of activity as a professional artist.

Now what does that mean?

Let’s see.

One of my teachers at the Maryland Institute College of Art told us undergrads that one day we had to decide to be artists. We were green, full of pure Shakti, and a bit of acne.

I remember the day I decided to call myself an artist. It felt strange. I was bartending at Olde Towne Tavern in Frederick, Maryland. And I was making things. I made paintings of blue nudes.

Mind you this was 30 years ago. And this piece of junk has a big story behind it. I’ll tell you the story in the next post.

Let’s get back to what it means to celebrate 30 years of professional artistic activity.

Every thing I own I bought with the earnings from my art.

For 30 years I’ve worked for myself and painted what my heart desires. For 30 years I’ve been my own boss. For 30 years I’ve mixed paint, cleaned brushes, shipped paintings, packed paintings, marketed myself, eaten cheese and apples at the easel, worked until midnight and on Sundays, learned how to make my own website, got fined by customs, given painting workshops, made a painting a day, made 5 paintings a day, made a painting in three weeks… And I made money painting. I’ve paid taxes as an artist for 30 years.

And I LOVE it. I’ve realized my life dream. I became an artist and moved to Paris. I started 30 years ago.

And when I retire I’m going to be a painter.