Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sargent: Sweat and Success

Self Portrait
work in progress

Recently I was studying up on John Singer Sargent. He was the artist of the month for my newsletter (sign up for the monthly newsletter here.) He was born on January 12.

I'm sure that I had read about how prolific he was before...but it's rather hard to imagine what over 900 oils, 2000 watercolors, and countless sketches means. So I looked at an average Sargent month...to achieve the above during 1877-1925 Sargent produced over 18 oil paintings, 42 watercolors, and scores of sketches every month for 48 years.

Now, I have monthly goals, but they just aren't even close to that! In fact, for my yearly goals, I decided on 100 sketches and 50 paintings...about a typical Sargent month.

Of course, Sargent wasn't typical. What worked for him wouldn't work for everyone. However, you don't need to be as prolific as Sargent to meet your goals. In your hour of sweat, you should remember this...Sargent considered Madame X his best work. He also struggled desperately with it...even though typical and average don't describe him...hard work, struggle, and perseverance did. Sometimes, hard work, struggle and perseverance lead to great things.

9 comments:

Robyn said...

Wonderful progress on your self portrait, Rose. Beautiful character and composition. Brava!

Sargent - what a showoff!;)

Sydney Harper said...

Your self portrait is looking very good. It has a lot of life and character in it.

Jeanette said...

Its you! You see, you CAN do portraits. :)

I love Sargent, despite his productivity. The Madame X piece is amazing and HUGE, have you ever seen the size of it?

Miki Willa said...

I am glad you are feeling better and back to drawing and blogging. I really like your portrait. Wonderful details. My husband is after me to do a self portrait. It seems so daunting. Congratulations on doing such a wonderful piece.

Valerie Jones said...

My, oh my, oh my! This is looking GREAT! Congrats on such fine work, Rose! Hope you all are feeling better at your house.

Rose Welty said...

Thanks everyone! I appreciate it. Madame X is huge, never seen it in person, but I've seen people in front of it...Miki go for the self-portrait, they are rather fun.

Hubby succumbed to the flu today. I had a relapse last night. The boys seem to be in fine form though. Thanks for asking.

adebanji said...

Great self portrait evolving-can't wait to see the finished piece!

Great post too-NOW that SARGENT FACTOR has got me motivated!

Jo Castillo said...

This is a lovely portrait. I have seen Madame X, WOW. Good job on your research and this piece. You are making smashing progress!

Susan Carlin said...

Hot Diggity, Girlfriend! This is delicious!