Saturday, February 14, 2015

Path to the beach

This is the first completed post South Carolina painting. "Path To The Beach" is literally that, a painting of the path to our beloved beach.  With the continuing snow and cold here at home, I'm really missing walking our beach...

Lessons learned while walking the beach #2:

  How Artists are like sharks teeth.

There are a lot of wanna be sharks teeth on the beach, some of them are really hard to tell from the real thing just by looking, but there is one no fail test, try to break them. 
The shell bits that look so convincing, break as soon as you put pressure on them, real teeth are almost impossible to break.
A lot of wanna be artists break as soon as they run into difficulties. They don't sell the way their family and friends assured them they would, they get an unfavorable critique, or two, they don't get accepted into a show they apply for...and they pack up their paints and move onto a new hobby.
Please don't get me wrong, a lot of hobby or Sunday painters, are the real thing, there is nothing wrong with knowing the limits of your ambition. 
Shark tooth hunters learn fast, that if you want to find a lot of teeth, find the bands of grit and debris. Like sized objects collect in bands that stratify the beach. Since most sharks teeth are fairly small, most of them will be found grouped together in the band of thumb nail sized bits.
The really good ones, the big ones, will be in the bands with the larger pieces of, and complete shells. There aren't many big ones though, so, do you forgo quantity for quality? After all, you might get lucky really good ones do appear in the smaller bands, though rarely. 
Or, do you persist and hang out where the big guys go, for artist, do you try for the better show? Take the chance on a solo exhibit? Or stay where you're comfortable showing in the same group shows year after year, without ever taking a risk...  Risk is hard, and frightening.  Most artists don't have driving ambition, they are happy doing what they are doing. There is nothing wrong with you if you know you really don't have enough ambition to take the risks.
If you do have ambitions though, consider the band you're in, could it be holding you back?
The dream of every sharks tooth hunter is to find a megalodon tooth.  Megalodons were massive prehistoric sharks, and their teeth are also massive.  Their teeth are found on the same beaches, but almost never in the strata bands the other teeth are.  
I've yet to find one, I know a devoted hunter though. This guy wears hip waders, and has an assortment of strainers he uses to sift through the tide pools of the estuary.    As soon as the tide is out far enough to start to expose the estuary sand bars he's out there, in all weather.  He's been doing this ever since he retired 10 years ago, his wife helps him and together in 10 years they have found 2.  One was this year and I was fortunate enough to see it, he wouldn't let me hold it though lol.
For artists, as it is for this hunter, megalodons take total devotion, a lot of time/practice, patience, and a bit of luck.

 painting path to the beach Robin Baratta artist
Path To The Beach, Glazed Acrylic, by Robin Baratta. 8x10, $120.00

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