Friday, August 15, 2014

How Artists Work

I promised to chose some little tidbits from the new book I've been reading called Daily Rituals How Artists Work by Mason Currey.  But then thought that it would be unfair to have spoilers from this excellent book which I feel that you might buy, which I have no doubt would make Mason Currey happy (that you buy his book). 

After all, if I wrote a wonderful book I wouldn't want some silly blogger to take a bunch of material from it and publish it on the internet.

But the premise is good for what we should talk about today - so looking to see if I could find out some information on the web about this subject, I have found that Mason Currey did some publishing on this very topic for the online magazine, Slate back in 2013 (yes, that long ago).

One post title is "Are Starving Artists Better Artists" and it wasn't what I expected. 

He talks about several artists who literally didn't eat much in the way of food because that was their preference and they believed helped with their creativity. 

He makes the point that thinking too much about anything other than what you're creating - in this case, food - is just one more distraction an artist can do without.

He also has a post about alcohol consumption and artists ...and this just made me laugh (a lot).  Here's why.  :)

So check out this self-portrait of Francis Bacon:

Francis Bacon Self Portrait 1969

Okay?  Apparently Damien Hurst (the artist who puts pickled animals in cubes and has made a small fortune selling them) is quite a Bacon (the artist...but maybe the pork product too...) fan and paid $30 some odd millions of dollars for this painting sometime in 2007.

According to Currey, Bacon "drank tremendous quantities of alcohol during his long nights out on the town, but he always woke at the first light of day and painted for several hours, usually finishing around noon. Even the occasional hangover was, in Bacon’s mind, a boon. “I often like working with a hangover,” he said, “because my mind is crackling with energy and I can think very clearly.”

I have got to think that Bacon had one whale of a hangover when he painted that self portrait. 

Poor thing.

Well.  We will explore this subject some more tomorrow (not alcohol consumption...but how artist work). 

I hope your Friday fun does not find you feeling like the painting above in the morning.

'Til tomorrow!