Art – The Highly Skilled Underpaid Profession

Posted by on Aug 6, 2014 in Opinion, Work in Progress | 4 comments

I just read an interesting article of sorts on what goes into an art piece, how much is untold and how much unappreciated. I considered this, sitting here on a quiet evening in front of an assortment of unfinished works and realized how true it is.

It is a very solitary job, but a job nonetheless.

Most of my time spent painting is alone in many respects, even when people are sitting around me. I am in another world – lost to the concentration of making what I want to appear appear!

work in progress roof tops girl white dress sunset oil painting christina lank ridgeway

I spent 3 hours on the 3rd layer of paint on these roof tops – tip of the iceberg!


I find it funny that being an artist is no longer considered a real job. I think this comes from a strange concoction of the vastness of the internet, the need for things at low of a price as possible and also a distinct ignorance as to what goes into a piece of art.

Of course, this is a generalization. No need to remind me there are a wonderful bunch of people out there who do truly appreciate a great painting, sculpture or novel. But the reality is I get this feeling that people out there think anyone can be an artist, so why should it be an actual job?

I think back to the olden days. When artist’s had patrons and no one asking him if they were also a farmer or blacksmith. When being an artist had a true value and the art they created were such that could leave an impression on people centuries in the future still. What will be left of our own artistic legacy, us artists in the modern day?

nude work in progress christina lank ridgeway

Painting her skin here – I was on my 4th layer of paint with at least 2 more to go

I spend a few good hours cutting and gessoing a board, hours go into sketches, model photos, collages, base coats, undercoats, and then that long and uncounted time of taking that and making it honed, fine and detailed. Each painting can take me what feels like a life time and through it is transferred a solid, if elusive, piece of myself. When you buy a painting you buy a piece of another’s soul. I cannot imagine something more worthwhile or fascinating.

It is my belief the modern day has both bolstered and severely hindered art. They call it the time of “Post-Skill” due to the copious amounts of shock value and conceptual art that fills major galleries. But if they would all just look a bit deeper I think they would find a whole hoard of artists who work passionately and feverishly to get their images out there. There is talent amongst the lesser known who work hard, because they want to and have to, to craft a true piece of art and value.

work in progress in stages leo girl work in progress christina lank ridgeway

A painting being born can take a lot of patience. It is almost like solving math for the creative!

There is a lot that goes into the painting. Not just the solidarity hours spent alone sitting with paints or what be their tool. But effort, skill and emotion.

I’d like to see the day come back where being an artist is a revered profession. Those of us in this crew know it is not easy and therefore should not be taken so lightly.

What are your thoughts?



  1. youu hit the nail on the head. i spent hours and days on paintings. some i rushed, but still people don’t appreciate the art of creating a peice that is birthed from the creative mind. i live in an area that art is more SouthWestern and Abstract. i create female personifcations that come from my heart and experience as a female with body issues. beauty is from within. i think your art is amazing and flawless. keep doing your passion. you are a true talent

    • I understand how it is living in area whose artist style clashes with your own! I live near Malmö in Sweden and had a gallery owner here once tell me that what I painted wasn’t “art” 😛 Thank you for your kind words and keep up the wonderful work, all those long hours spent!

  2. I agree. Art isn’t appreciated as it once was. Not only do people not consider the work that goes into an art piece, they don’t understand the reasoning behind on why our prices are what they are. They don’t take our profession seriously enough and think that we should be selling it cheap.
    I’ve had plenty of times where people would tell me that my “hobby” is too expensive. Even more so I’ve been told that the area I am living in won’t buy my art because it’s too long to wait for one piece.
    It takes time and patience.

    I also agree that there are a lot of under rated artists that have talent but go unnoticed. They deserve a chance of recognition like all artists. 🙂

    • Very well said Jessica – and yes it is a very expensive “hobby” haha. That’s a random complaint, too long to wait. Here where I live what I create isn’t considered art apparently by merely “illustration”. I have to admit I was very put off by it all and haven’t shown my work in Sweden in 2 years.

      I have this sneaking suspicion that the figurative surreal art that we create is on the rise… very slowly but surely. Perhaps if we stick with it for another 20 years the whole art scene will look much different 😛

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