On Art and Love

"... As far as I’m concerned, there are as many ways to develop an idea into a work of art as there are to develop an attraction into a full-blown love affair.

In painting, the artist has some idea of the result desired to produce something new—to give life to something that didn’t exist before. This places the person on a god-like plane. What power! When it’s working, it’s not just satisfying; it’s euphoric. It gives a sense of growth and accomplishment that leaves the artist blind to everything else momentarily.

Developing a loving relationship is similar. In both, someone needs to initiate, and if the affair is to blossom and flower, an awful lot of planning and strategy comes into play. The way that love affairs go sour is identical to the way that seemingly great ideas end up as 'discards.' Much of this results from not constantly being in touch with the needs, demands, and changes that might be occurring in the other person. Similarly, there are dozens of art material manufacturers who continue in business because untold numbers are forever experimenting with art. Look at the divorce rate, and you can appreciate the tremendous number of individuals who were not reading what was happening around them.

If you observe artists of all disciplines, and how they work, you’ll find some that approach their work slowly, methodically, and analytically, with patience and persistence. Then, at the other extreme, are expressionists, who work with speed and accident, emotion and energy. Don’t you know people who behave similarly in a relationship? Of course you do. I believe that the more we study about art and artists, the greater the opportunities we’ll find for a more meaningful life. I have painted much and I have loved much. I have failed in both and I have succeeded in both. I have suffered depression in both, and in both, I have experienced delight and happiness. And I anticipate there will be much of the same ahead. But… I’m living, and that’s what it’s all about..."

- Robert R. “Bob” Auth (1987)