Locally there are no life drawing classes, so that is not an issue for me. But I think if I quit my full time job and took up painting full time my husband would have an issue with that. I have bills I am responsible for paying (as does he) and to go from a good paying, full time career to a career that would take time to build to the same level, would be very frightening for him and put a lot of pressure on him. As a result, it would put tremendous pressure on me. I have two to three years to go before I can retire and in that time I’m preparing by taking on a few commissions, selling a few small works and generally getting better at what I do. In that, he is extremely supportive and has told me he is amazed at the work that I do. He helps me prepare canvases and panels on which to paint and he gives me time in the studio when I need it and has no problem with me going out painting plein air (so long as I don’t go alone off our property because he knows I tune out everything around me when painting and neither of us feel that is a safe thing). My friends and family have been supportive by providing compliments. Even one of my commissions has come from a friend. But the majority of my sales are to strangers either through Daily Paintworks or from a local gallery or straight off my blog.
I started oil painting in 2012 at 62. My husband, family and friends have been my most ardent supporters. In the beginning I really thought they were just being kind, but when my oldest son came over one day and told me that he and his wife wanted as many of my paintings as I was willing to give them, I knew he must be sincere since he never keeps anything he doesn’t like. I often wonder if I’m going to be able to offer something for sale since they seem so happy to get them. However, I am beyond happy that they like my work–and love the fact that my husband has a good eye and offers great advice. I hope more strangers start to like my work, but so far I’ve been ecstatic to sell even a few. I know I need to attend some workshops and keep trying to get into the ones I’m interested in but they fill up quickly. I love DPW because it’s given me a way to get into this business. And I love browsing all the art; I learn just by looking at it!
Although he isn’t at all interested in art, hubs is supportive of my painting because 1) I make money and 2) because he knows I have to do something creative or I’ll go crazy.
Some friends are supportive and interested in what I do and others couldn’t care less. Most people when they see my studio, look around and say “oh…” or “hmmmm…”. It amuses me. I especially love when people comment on my abstracts. The hubs says things like, “what’s all that squiggly stuff?” Son says things like, “is that good?” Friends say things like, “you must be a happy person”.
When I was married my husband was quite critical and so I did not paint for 7 years. Since the divorce painting has taken over more and more of my time. My sister is also not real supportive but my 2 nieces have bought a couple of my paintings. All my friends are artists and are very supportive and posting on social media can be very encouraging.
I looked at your work. It’s truly beautiful–all of it. Your friends should all be supporting you, but they simply aren’t interested in art. Unfortunately, they’d probably feel the same way about the Mona Lisa.
Maybe you should try to let your wife learn to replace thinking. Actually, there is no conflict between painting and family as long as you can coordinate both well. Maybe you spend a lot of time on the painting rather than your family.You can try to teach them how to paint in the rest of the time, let them like painting slowly. I believe that they are willing to support you, but you just don’t deal with the schedule arrangement well.
Here we are a few years down the road and I am retired from my full time job and working a part time job to pay my car payment. I’ve started having fairly good sales in a local cooperative gallery and one of my pastels was accepted as part of the International Pastel Society Convention Show in June. So things are moving along well. My husband has become even more supportive as success has started to come by. In person he tends to be reserved with his positive comments, but I overhear him talking to others and I know he is very proud of me and my work. I’ve also started a local plein air painting group. Last year we had a blast but this year the new job is sort of interfering with it. Timing on the new job is not very flexible, I just don’t work as much.