To a young artist today I wrote, "You have been drawing and painting your stories, your ideas and your friends.
They must think it is truly wonderful and revealing of your natural talent and your desire to make art.
I see you struggle with some of the great problems of representational painting.
How to incorporate a figure into an environment, for example . . . or how to balance the elements of form:
Figure/Ground, Line/Mass, Perspective/Pattern, Hue/Value/Chroma, Image/Symbol,
Meaning/Feeling, Imagination/Vision, Harmony/Discord, Transparent/Opaque.
These are the qualities that will carry your story in pictures however you choose to tell it.
They combine to make a kind of visual poetry that will express Life itself when used effectively.
And it takes a lifetime of learning to master the Art of Painting.
You’ll find it is solitary work before a broad audience and you'll find a classroom everywhere.
There is much that can be described. Much to be taught. Everything to be observed and contemplated.
There are many teachers to point you in the right direction but only you are left to learn each lesson.
The steps along the way may seem heavy and hopeless or light and effortless.
Progress will trip over its own feet. Failure will reveal a delightful miracle!
The question “Why?” is asked and not answered so frequently it leaves a scar deep in your heart.
Distractions are so seductive; Disappointments are crushing; Money will shine like a trophy on the easier path.
Fun will flirt with your friends. Success will dance with your competition.
You may receive awards and sales and words of congratulation .
The thing you care about most may seem beyond reach.
Like light itself, it illuminates all you value but cannot touch.
It is a lifetime of learning and hard won skills.
And the only possible response is to continue if you can.
The reward you hunger for becomes simply to be able to continue the work, your exploration, your adventure, your mark.
There are some who say,
'If you can be discouraged from continuing in the pursuit of Art then you should be.'
The great challenge!"