A Decision…Concentrating on Painting

October 31, 2007

Pele, silk carving
17″ x 48″
©2003 Petra Voegtle

Today I came to a decision: blogging about this and that, ranting about this and that is taking too much time off my real work as an artist. There are hundreds if not thousands of blogs out there with people trying to sell themselves, ranting and howling about who’s in and who not, thousands of pages about stupid things and things that are supposed to be funny – in many cases the “fun” escapes my understanding – and I think it is not because English is not really my mother tongue – they are all sucking the energy out of me that I desperately need for my work. Now THAT is supposed to be fun.

I will not continue to hunt for views and hit statistics – this can become quite an obsession – I will write when I am in the mood for writing – and I will write about my work and hope that someone will have fun reading about it and if not – who seriously cares about this?

I am very passionate about my work – not in the way that I am chasing for appreciation and affirmation at all means. That was really necessary quite at the beginning where you normally don’t have sufficient self assurance. It is a good motivation though if you continue to receive affirmation and encouragement that is meant seriously. I wished I got more feedback from exhibitions – especially where I cannot attend myself. How on earth should I know what went good or bad? Why do people always assume you already know about it when you haven’t been there? And sales are not always the culmination of everything.

No, I am passionate about my work because it finally has become the sense of my life. What else do I need then?

Ho’okipa, silk carving
16″ x 46″
©2003 Petra Voegtle

Currently I am painting, on silk and on rayon. And my favourite subject is painting dreams, dreams of places I have been and dreams of places I would like to be. Is something wrong with that?

I fear I will always be that kind of artist who stays outside a box and that defines me an outsider. Outsiders are suspect, do not run with the majority, are different. Am I so different? Admittedly I am probably thinking too much, I am touching sensitive issues people don’t want to hear about or they don’t like the answer to a question. People don’t want to hear the truth. And sometimes I am simply so frustrated that this needs a valve. I am just an ordinary human also. Maybe I should take that in consideration in future.

A visitor I had lately in my studio told me that he had never seen works such as mine. I surely think he was honest. Besides my current work I showed him my silk carvings (sculptured reliefs from one single piece of silk, a technique I invented) – such as above and below. He was very intrigued.

I often think about what people might expect from me as an artist. This is possibly a mistake. I am how I am. I cannot hide my character on long term which means I always try to be honest and open, I do not pretend something that I cannot sign wholeheartedly.

But I am in a dilemma that many artists face: if you want to make a decent living from your art and if you don’t have any substitute income it is very difficult to hold on to your principles and ethics on one side and be commercially successful on the other. So what would be the best advice to handle this?



10 Responses to “A Decision…Concentrating on Painting”

  1. tikki Says:

    There is a hard balance between working for yourself and working for someone else so you can pay your bills. It’s an important balance nonetheless. When it comes to art, it must be ten times harder. Art is about personalization of an idea/image/through/place/emotion. To adhere to the public/commercialism, it denies you the true essence of what art should be. But at the same time- you need to pay the rent.

    It’s a hard balance. I like to think that outside of the essential work I do, I do the rest of the things in my life for myself. Blogging for example is something I do for myself. My personal art is strickly for myself.

    I wish you the best on your journey in finding that balance.

    By the way, if that’s your art in the post- it’s gorgeous. It’s certainly filled with talent.

  2. Marie Says:

    Interesting ….I was just thinking about these very same issues today. I am not as well known as you are – and yet I have never striven to be well known. I create what I want to create – when I want to do it. Sometimes I feel that I should push myself to the forefront more – but that really is not how I am . I am not a good self promoter and have o desire to push that har anymore to become so .. WRITE what you want ! WHEN you want .. ad all of your fans will still be there to read and appreciate !

  3. rose Says:

    I understand what you are saying… and wonder myself about where I use my time…

  4. vyala Says:

    Thank you so much for your kind words and wishes, Tikki, they just arrived at the right time.

  5. vyala Says:

    Marie, you are so sweet – I did not know that I had such true fans. Wow – it’s a new feeling. But you are also truely exaggerating – well-known – hmmmm – nay – really not – lol

  6. vyala Says:

    thank you too, Rose, for visiting my blog. Yes – sometimes it is difficult to find the way back to the important things.

  7. tikki Says:


    no problem 🙂 traveling the path of your true desires is often the hardest path to follow.

    best wishes!

  8. monrea Says:

    I enjoy reading your blog, and I love your work, but if blogging and writing is taking too much from your creative spirit, you should take a break. But I can see that your concern for maintaining visibility is really valid.
    Maybe you could change the format of your blog, and plan on just a once a month update, something that covers a subject in depth that has a real meaning for you? I post with the Ragged Cloth Blog for this reason. It gives me a once a month chance to do something different. Just a little idea
    I hope you don’t completely give up your blog, I really love it.

  9. vyala Says:

    Monrea, thanks for visiting my blog and your kind words. I really was not aware that I have a bunch of regular readers already who really read my stuff. Amazing. No – I won’t give up on the moment but I am going to restrict my writing mainly on my work and maybe every other week or so.

  10. Dog training Says:

    Very interesting… as always! Cheers from -Switzerland-.

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