by Mark Edward Adams
A couple of weeks ago, I was sculpting during an art walk at the Paul Scott Gallery for their Summer Spectacular Art Walk. I was sculpting a horse in the gallery and people could watch me work and ask me questions. I really enjoyed the experience and I found a phrase that I heard a lot was "You are so talented, I could never do it".
I appreciate the compliment, however my usual reply is that I have no talent. I don't mean this in a self-efficacious way, but rather I don't believe art is a talent. If I believed otherwise, I would have never become an artist. While I was growing up I never had the slightest inclination to paint or draw. On the rare occasion that I tried, it was not pretty.
The years went by and I gravitated toward science and ended up with a degree in Chemistry. It wasn't until after college that I discovered art. I realized that this was my calling and it was something that I had to do. I knew I was not very good at sculpting or drawing but I made a decision to spend the rest of my life learning.
I dedicated my life to art and it became my life. I told myself that talent does not matter and it was all effort. Every day I worked hard and sought out the best teachers I could find. It brought me to Italy and into the studios of some of the finest artists of the day. It was not easy, but I found myself slowly improving. I spent years of daily practice - working steadily at night after working all day as a chemist and through the weekends. After 3 years, I realized I could sculpt the figure and after 5 years, I could sculpt movement. It wasn't until about year 7 when I finally starting developing a style of my own. The galleries starting opening their doors and my work was being sold.
If I believed art was a talent I would have given up long ago. The ability to create art is something that is earned through years of constant study and dedication. It is not a gift given at birth.