Painting and making a living at it.
As Painters we live in the real world. Though its responsibilities somehow seem outside beyond our peripheral vision.
Reading a biography on Pissarro, one of a group of talented painters who helped develop the Impressionist movement and the movements that followed.
It is funny how these few sections stood out to me and may to other painters making painting their quest in life. To have someone on our side, or having the self confidence to keep moving forward in this seemingly horrifying challenge to bring something new to our canvas and uplift humanity. On the other hand, life pushes us hard and if we cannot keep focus bad thoughts could creep in.
I know the economy has been hard on everyone. I hope we can all hold our ground and move forward with positive effort.
Sections taken from: Pissarro, His Life and Work, by Ralph E. Shikes and Paula Harper.
Pissarro’s wife Camille:
Your poor father is really innocent; he doesn’t understand the difficulties of living. He knows that I owe 3,000 francs and he spends 300, and tells me wait! Always the same joke. I don’t mind waiting, but meanwhile one must eat. I have no money and nobody will give me credit. I paid off a little of the debts here and there, but it is so little that they don’t want to give me any more credit. What are we to do? We are eight at home to be fed everyday. When dinnertime comes, I cannot say to them”wait” – this stupid word your Father repeats and repeats. I have used up anything I had put aside. I am at the end of my tether and, what is worse, have no courage left. I had decided to send the three boys to Paris and then to take the two little ones for a walk by the river. You can imagine the rest. Everyone would have thought it an accident. But when I was ready to go, I lacked the courage. Why am I such a coward at the last moment? My poor son, I feared to cause you all grief, and I was afraid of your remorse. Your dear Father wrote me a letter which is a masterpiece of selfishness. The poor dear man says that he has reached the top of his profession and doesn’t want to prejudice his reputation by having an auction sale or by pawning his pictures. Not to prejudice his reputation! Poor dear, what repentance for him if he should lose his wife and two little ones! To uphold his reputation! I think he doesn’t know what he is saying. My poor Lucien, I am terribly unhappy. Good-bye. Shall I see you again, alas?
Lucien, both Camille and Pissarro’s son responds:
It’s curious that you are unhappy that Papa is not worried. On the contrary, I admire him. If by bad luck, he was a man who allowed himself to be overcome by discouragement, what would become of us? A discouraged man is incapable of working and above all of working well. To make good painting, it’s necessary to have complete serenity of spirit, which happily, he has. It’s already unfortunate that you are anxious. If both of you despair, everything will be lost, while with coolness and perseverance, we can still get out of this. Reflect my poor mother, and try to be a little reasonable. From what I’ve been able to see, things are getting better and the latest canvases that Papa has sent out have had much success.