Romance in Art
I often get asked to paint happier, pleasing art “you’re very talented but I could never support you, why don't you make some happier pieces” although I understand the sentiment it’s weird to me that painting is one of the only arts where people mostly expect to be filled with happy thoughts while viewing. If you compare painting to another art form like film (music works too), where the genre is split between horror, drama, action, thriller, etc, painting is the only art where people now expect romance almost every time. I’m not much of a fan of romance films and I don't expect every film I see to fill me with warm feelings, for instance I didn’t watch The Exorcist and come away saying “Well that didn’t make me feel good, the director obviously has talent but should focus on some uplifting themes for their next piece.” In fact it’s one of the main reasons I came back to painting after watching the world turn to some very dark places but not many painters addressing it, and that’s absolutely fine. Who wants to document things like awful politicians and out of control capitalism when painting can be so uplifting, I just feel that some of us should.
There’s always been much greater, godly artists that have documented darker moments, Goya, Picasso, Klee, Moore, Sargent and there’s still incredible political artists now like Eli Valley, Martin Rowson, Ralph Steadman and lots more, but on the whole today’s artists are expected to make you feel all warm inside. So if you do come across the ones that don’t and you’re not keen on how their art makes you feel, you don’t have to ask them to change, you can move on and find a plethora of artists that meet your requirements. I look forward to the day that I have nothing but pleasant images to paint, but my work’s a product of my environment and at the moment it’s hard to find good in the country I live in.