Eric Telfort: Keeping the Brushes Wet, part 4

The New York Academy of Art is pleased to present the next installment in this new series on our blog. Eric Telfort, a 2009 graduate of the New York Academy of Art, blogs with us about “keeping the brushes wet.” Follow us as Eric writes about what it’s like to be a working artist.

Continued from the last post:

Delayed gratification. This concept I find applies to a lot of the random happenings of ones life. I’m starting to realize that in a painting patience really pays off. I, the school trained artist, was built to create a painting in a week to turn in and talk about the following day. The same twenty minute breath used to describe a slide of a painting created before my time was awarded to paintings of my academic experience with the same care. I would think to myself, “Wow we spent twenty minutes talking about something I put together the night before, and I didn’t even think about it.” Bullshit. Today I find the painting process is slowing down drastically. Proper technique and color relationships to convey the message an artist wants to present to the viewer drastically slows down the process these days. I think before showing other people work, and in the event it doesn’t look like care and great thought went into the painting I pass it off as just a sketch. In the paintings I try to do now each stroke has to have a story or a part of the story. I think of it as writing a paper where each stroke is a line from the text so that if one were to isolate each brush stroke and put them next to each other to form a page they would be able to read my unique story. This delayed reaction will one day be helpful in marriage. As a man I am beginning to understand that many women enjoy the Eric experience when I have a “delayed reaction.” I have begun this mode of talking myself through a painting before I start painting. It cuts down the frustration. I will admit I haven’t been able to paint nearly as much as I would like to. There aren’t enough hours in the day. The children and young adults I teach during the day need to be fed education. I need to sleep. Women need to be smiled at and told day-changing comments such as “love those shoes” and “you have the most paint-able face; here’s my card, I’m an artist.” How do I balance this life? I haven’t. I have neither rhyme nor reason to the madness of trying to be an artist and hold a 9-5 job. I am not ashamed to admit this in hopes that someone will one day sit next to me, gently stroke my turpenoid-stained hands and calmly whisper, “Me too.”

To be continued…

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