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An Artist’s Thoughts on Perseverence

original oil painting, Hawaii, Maui, Whale breaching, artist, Ronald Lee Oliver

“You can’t be all things to all people.” –anonymous

As an artist It is axiomatic that not everyone is going to like your work. It would be ridiculous to believe so. Just as an artist’s own tastes tend to one genre and not another–say impressionism vs. postmodernism–therefore informing their creative approach and style, so do art collectors have personal preferences for one form or the other. That is not to say that some collectors may have a broad range of tastes but in general, the axiom holds true and even for these “eclectic” collectors, your particular brand may not be one which holds their interest. Coming to terms with this as an artist involves staying true to your sensibilities and vision and hence the direction of your work and style but it also necessitates the development of a “thick hide” when it comes to presenting the fruits of your labors to a seemingly indifferent public.

“For any artist to persevere, they must have an enthusiastic audience of at least one.” –Stuart Davis)

When sales have slumped and critical recognition is a scarce commodity, the logic of the above quote by the postmodern artist, Stuart Davis, becomes a guide stone for the artist. If there is that quality in your art which inspires you to continue developing and creating with disregard for recognition and lack of sales–if you see and believe that your art is special and worthy and will avoid the ignominy of the refuse pile of history–if you know your art will endure beyond the temporal tides of trend, fashion and commerce to be found and cherished by those who care enough to display it in an unforeseeable future, then this conviction will fuel the will to persevere, regardless of external encouragements or discouragements.

It is a fine thing to relish receiving encouraging praise, recognition, awards or rewards but when creating works of art that your friends, acquaintances and even strangers think and say are beautiful–but are not selling or finding representation in public venues or galleries–perseverance, born of conviction is paramount and will sustain you. So pick up your stylus of choice and let your creative spirit flow. The proof is in the putting of paint to canvas! From perseverance, reward will come.

Ronald Lee Oliver is a self-taught artist, working in Southern Calfornia.






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More from Torrey Pines

It was a busy weekend but I did get out to the Torrey Pines Natural Reserve early Saturday Morning. I didn’t paint but hiked over most of the trails in the park and took some photos. The weather was very overcast and grey, so I opted to do the camera work, smell the flowers, sage and chaparral and reconnoiter for potential compositions that might work with the paint brush.

Here is a shot of the Isomeris arborea, or commonly named “Bladderpod” bush, with the characteristic pods. They say the pods are edible but spicy hot…I haven’t tried them:

Isomeris arborea

…and here is a photo of some unidentified (at least by me) shrub with pretty little flowers the color of pink coral…

Tiny Flowers

…eventually I made my way down to a view of the beach and “flat rock.” Bet you can’t guess why they call it “flat rock.” 🙂

Flat Rock, Torrey Pines

While hiking up and out of the beach area I saw some really lovely flowers and shrubs growing in the sand…

Beach Walkers at Torrey Pines

…and the exceptionally pretty flowers of the Sand Verbena that must be very hardy to grow where they do…

Sand Verbena

It was a good morning, despite the cold, overcast and drizzle.

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Winter Swell, Cabrillo

I got out for a plein air session last week-end. Had been sick for some time with a nasty flu that left me with a persistent nasal drip and cough. It was good to get out and the day was absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been meeting up with a painters group that uses online social media to designate places to have painting sessions. This morning, I was the first to show up (as usual), and I arrived early at the Entrance to Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma in San Diego. It was a crystal clear and chilly December morning. As I drove into the park and headed down the hill to the lower parking lots where there is access to the tide pools, a magical thing happened…

…a Peregrine falcon swooped down not more than five or ten yards in front and to the left side of my slow moving truck–and without flapping soared down the hill about three feet off the blacktop pavement…it was almost skimming the tops of the buckwheat and sage bushes at the side of the road, leading me into the park. It was so magical, I was laughing as I drove behind my escort. I followed it all the way to the bottom of the hill–nearly half a mile. What a great way to start the day.

When I parked, I got out with my easel and bucket and took some photos as I went…I’ll share them with you…

First I got out and took a photo of the view from the parking lot…

Then, I walked down the trail a ways and saw this…

and this…

and I painted this…

which came out like this…
(apologies for the phone photo)

And then I packed up, hiked back to my truck and drove out of the park but had to stop and take some shots because it was just too beautiful to resist…

looking West…

…and looking East…

A very quiet and emotional place.

What a great day it was.

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Why Purchase Fine Art?

You may decide to patronize a particular artist and purchase an original work or limited edition print because the image pleases, moves or inspires you–or, you may believe the artist’s work will appreciate in value as a long-term investment–or it may simply match the colors of your couch. Whatever the reason–purchasing original and limited edition art is a satisfying and rewarding experience unlike any other, with the dual benefit of capturing and preserving the enjoyment of the beauty in the work but also in rewarding the artist, who will continue to create works and expressions of their creative spirit and inspiration.

While Fine Art originals and limited editions may seem expensive, consider that they are extremely rare, and are the culmination of many years of an artists observations, experiences, and practice. Jewel-like, Artworks are multifaceted expressions of human existence that bring a special satisfaction each time your eyes gaze upon them. They are indeed, more rare than jewels, which are merely accretions of minerals dug from the earth, while Art is mined from human consciousness and soul and is the medium through which they are shared.

These truths make Fine Art a fool-proof investment, because not only does it immediately bring such great joy and enjoyment, but it will also hold or appreciate in monetary value over time. Inevitably, when the time for personal enjoyment has passed, the art remains as a tangible asset to be left for others, conferring a reciprocal benefit in the joy of holding it for a time as steward and then in the joy of passing it on.

There is truth in the axiom that “a thing of beauty is a joy forever.”

Fine Art of collectable quality will endure the test of time and will remain long after you are gone. Others, possibly heirs, unto posterity, will have the opportunity to feel the same sense of wonder and emotion that inspired you to collect the artwork. By purchasing Fine Art, you become part of the legacy of preservation in this cycle of inspiration for generations to come.

Purchasing Fine Art is a reward for everyone.

Meyer Lemons Plein air painting by RLOArtist
Meyer Lemons Plein air painting by RLOArtist