A recent article, passed along by a friend, written by Malcolm Gladwell
(The Tipping Point), illuminates this idea that some artists are
fiercely direct and quick with their art. No experimentation, no
search- just an incandescent manifestation of work--Picasso. On
the other hand, there are those, the "late bloomers" (me too) that
sort of grope our way along. Never really sure, but trial and error,
and repeated mistakes eventually lead to some clarification, some results.
Gladwell asserts that Cezanne was one of these types. Never satisfied,
persistently frustrated, although steadily getting better over the course
of his life. The story goes that when Ambrose Vollard, the sponser of
Cezanne's first one man show, at age 56, hunted down Cezanne in Aix
"He spotted a still life in a tree, where it had been flung by
Cezanne in disgust."Gladwell emphasizes the vital importance that
the outside patrons , friends, family etc. are for the survival of these
kind of "late bloomers" I have a hunch this is true for most artists.
How many times has a friend said "I love this!" as they pull a painting
out of the garbage can, instantly redeeming it to one of your recent
favorites. The article ends "We'd like to think that mundane matters
like loyalty, steadfastness, and the willingness to keep writing
checks to support what looks like failure have nothing to do with
something as rarefied as genius. But sometimes genius is anything
but rarefied; sometimes it's just the thing that emerges after
twenty years of working at your kitchen table"