I am an Artist.

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I wrote this for the inside of an art book, but from time to time I like to pull it out and read it. It centers me and reminds me of the special reason we are artists. It’s a great way to start a day of creating art. This is from the heart, enjoy :)
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These are my thoughts, my feelings and impressions. I have lived a lifetime writing, composing and painting. I am still learning.

I would like to say that I create art to move you. The truth is that I have to create art or I will fall away into some kind of insane oblivion, some unbearable existence I would unlikely survive.

I have a need to know myself, both good and bad, and I discovered early that I know myself by what I create and by what I destroy. I would still like to move you but that does not an artist make.

I am often bold and insane as is my art from time to time. Were I not this way, I would have no business creating both bold and insane art. To know yourself by what you create can also make one appear somewhat strange, like an artist often appears to the world.

Why would anyone in this ultra-modern, fast-paced digital world full or instant gratification, politically correct entertainment, and mind numbing manufactured beauty even bother with the simple act of putting a paint filled brush to canvas? One wonders.

What is this endearing quality of a painting that even in today’s modern world draws millions of people into art museums, art shows and galleries all over the world? It’s something magical, something primal, something intelligent we as humans connect to in a profound way. What lingers in our expression is that which draws us out of our understanding and expectations without separating us from our souls. This is how I define the quality of art.

Art gives us relief from the mundane and limited aspects of human existence. Great art is simple in its elements and profound in its expression.

At the end of painting a work of art, as I stand back and look upon its complexities, its depth, dance of colors, composition and form. I am always humbled by the fact that my own experience of painting it was a series of simply mixing a few colors on my brush and adding that result to the canvas with a stroke or two. Much like a composer simply chooses one or two notes at a time to create a beautiful piece of music, the simplicity of art is captivating and complex.

So who are we? Who are the artists of today? Only a hundred years ago, being a famous artist was like being a famous rock star. Warhol, Pollack, Picasso all enjoyed the fame of art. However, the rock star period of art is a very small window in time.

In Michelangelo’s time an artist was no more exalted than a brick layer, a trade requiring experience and craftsmanship, but without reputation. During my lifetime the favored artists went from cartoonists such as in the Disney era, to video game developers, computer graphics interface special effects artist and web designers. This is all art with an outside authority, namely commerce. However, the painters endure throughout time. Painters paint with or without the possibility of fame or wealth. When photography became the rage, the painters continued to paint. Photography is a valid and beautiful art form, and painters can trace their art back to the walls of prehistoric caves. This is not a comparison. Photography changed the face of painting. It released painting from realism into the abstract. Every new technology changes the face of painting in some way, but painting endures throughout time. They evolve together. Every advance in technology frees painting to be a more pure expression. Every advance in artist’s tools challenges the painter to a greater mastery of the simple elements of art.

When I was younger, I spent my energy and time exploring philosophy and immersed myself in the mystical side of life. Now, as I near the half century mark, I remain certain of these things:

We are all connected in the most beautiful way. Not in this time and space because at the place where art is born there is no time or space.

We, you and I, are connected at the highest ideas of life; Love, joy, beauty, kindness, passion, care, etc. This is where we connect, aware or not. Art, at its highest purpose is a pure conduit and gateway to increased and expanded connections between all things. Art is both a deductive process and an inspired or creative process where the beauty is always greater than the sum of its parts.

What is universal is not personal and what is personal is not universal. Art is the one place where universal and personal join together to tear us away from our conceptual status quo. It is the marriage of divine and human harmony, genius and free will.

Art cannot be fully understood outside of its creation. Meaning, art can be enjoyed by looking at it, but not completely understood. Only the artist, while creating art can understand it. The second the artist stops creating it, the artist ceases to understand it as well. It is a fire of creative awareness.

Of this I am certain.

The remainder of life pretty much remains a mystery to me.

—Buddy Sears

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