I believe that it is only during the art process that an artist truly owns the work. Although he might retain the finished material work for a while before either selling it, giving it away or storing it, this is the only time that he experiences the conception, the varied emotions and the closeness of "carrying" the work, then finally "birthing" it through completion.
Once the work is gone, it no longer belongs to him in the same manner as when he was working on it.
Although one of my goals is to share my work with the public through sales and other forms of exposure, my primary reason for painting is to experience the supreme satisfaction which accompanies the painting process. When I am painting, I do not think about how others will react to the work, whether or not it will sell or where it will hang. My goal before beginning to paint is to love the work. This is my only goal. And it is a goal that I have had to grow into by maturing from previously painting for applause and only applause.
Even though I love the applause, it is crucial that I love the process, which can sometimes be exhilarating to the extent that it's only you and the work in the studio. When I approach art, that is what I am striving for. I call it being in the throes or the zone. Whatever you call it, if you're an artist, you know what I'm talking about.
To end, I will say that not all finished work gives these feelings during the process, even if they turn out fine. Sadly, I cannot say why this happens. There have been times when I have done work that I only loved when it was completed, not during the process - sort of like carrying a baby who kept you sick all the time, but arrived looking healthy, beautiful and charming.
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