Monday, January 2, 2012

Why do I Paint?

Good Night. oil on canvas. 14 x 18 inches. Jan 2011. Price: $500

Flowers Die. oil on canvas. 12 x 14 inches. Jan 2012. Price $400

Why do I paint?

This is a question I am asked more than once. Another question I am asked is, "Patrick, you already have so many paintings... why do keep painting?" One of my favorite questions that I am asked is, "What are you going to do with all these paintings?"

All these questions translate to... This person does not understand. Perhaps they are trying to understand why I paint as much as I do. The other possibility is that they cut me down. They think I am nuts, crazy, wasting my time, and should get a 5 - 9 job.

My daughter as me the other day.... Daddy why do I paint, you already have so many paintings?

So I replied. "Isabelle do you like playing with your friends, do you like watching movies, do you like playing with your Barbie play house? Isabelle I love painting. I feel like a child eating tons of candy on Halloween night. If I never sell another painting... I would still wish to paint. Just like I love eating candy. I love painting."

I feel very blessed. My 5 - 9 job is not a job. It is my life. It is more 12 - 12. All day. Every day. No evening and weekends off. I feel so blessed. My life is my life. No job. Just Art. But yes sometimes I wish I could have vacation from myself. Smile.

When I was younger. 15 years ago I was hardcore broke. But I was happy. I felt freedom. Nothing really mattered. Fuck it. Balls to the Wall. It was not easy. I lost weight (15 - 17 pounds). No much money for food. I did not care. I felt like a suicide bomber on a mission. And it was a rush. The energy inside my veins was pure. Yes I lived on skid row. I lived in a communal living space below the Lucky Lodge Hotel, with three heroin addicts, and a guy with Aids. Cockroaches infested the kitchen. But every morning I would wake up. And paint. When I left Vancouver I got on the plane (one way ticket to England). I left 400 paintings behind. What happened to them... ?

Now I am 39 years old. I have a big house. One of the largest art galleries in the city. I have a triplex rental investment property. My 5 - 9 job. My life. My Art. Things are good. Hard work as paid off well. So again... What are you going to do with all these paintings?... my reply. Who fucking cares. When I am dead. I will know that I lived. I had fun. It was great. I lived a great life.

I have never done drugs, never smoked a cigarette, not even tried coffee. Yes I have had beer, and gotten drunk. I just love painting. It is sunshine. It is water. It is a clear blue sky.

Yesterday I completed two more paintings. One in the morning. I painted while having breakfast. And before lunch I managed to complete one. And after Isabelle was asleep I managed to complete another painting before I went to sleep. Good day.


brian clemence said...

This is a thing I have told many times , Why the life of an artist , but I have done the 8 to 5 thing and it is a slow death for me . Been doing the art thing since I was 16 , I am 54 now .
Was a stay at home father for the last 20 years , kids are gone now and when they left the wife did too .
Manege to gip up the sculpture and painting throw it all . Now at 54 I am starting over . I am losing my house my house , studio and moving who knows where. But I know the thing that will come first is the studio
give me my art , and I will be happy . Nice to read your story . good luck with you addiction and your love of your work ,. brian

James Fletcher said...

a Vancouver hello to Patrick ! I am happy that you can now eat, sleep and dream ART all in one place...a much better place than the Lucky Lodge which got busted for scamming 4 to a room and still has bedbugs but if I ever see your work here -I will BUY IT !...I consider myself very lucky to be able to be in my studio, 'listening to the roar of my unconscious mind'and sculpting new creations that I have never even dreamed of...the creative process and life makes me very LIVE and ENJOY!