I’m Chris Beaven, an artist living in Washington state and this website is dedicated to a goal I set for myself on January 26th 2013.
To do some kind of art every day, at least 30 minutes in duration, for the rest of my life.
I’ve been an artists since I was very young when my mother with her wonderful insight saw that I was drawn to art and enrolled me in classes. However, after 38 years of life, on January 26th 2013, I looked back at my life of art and realized that I wasted most of that time. There were multiple years where I didn’t do any artwork at all and my soul suffered for it. But what suffered most of all was my ability as an artist. On that fateful day at the beginning of 2013, I realized that I had lost most of what I learned.
Art is NOT like riding a bike!
Art making is complex and it takes constant practice to get better and my previous 38 years was wrought with a severe lack of practice. Over the days, months, and years where I wasn’t doing art my ability was eroding, and by the time I noticed, it was almost as if I was starting over.
But I didn’t quit!
Creating is what I do. For me it is akin to breathing. There is no “have to” or “must” it is a part of me. To stop is to begin to die. So, I did the only thing I could do. I made a plan to never let complacency happen in my art again. I WILL DO ART EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE!!
Wait… isn’t that impossible what about those super hard days in your life?
I took a practical approach to this huge goal. I “Rubbed it up against reality” and determined that the only way I could confidently pull this habit off for the rest of my life is to establish a MINIMUM. This was the most important. It’s not about creating a masterpiece every day, nor is it about creating anything you want to sell or show every day. The most important thing is the HABIT and to keep moving forward a little bit every single day. Establishing my identity as an artist meant I practice as an artists every day. Little did I know but this new habit was the most powerful thing that I could have ever done an it affected every other part of my life in a positive way.
This website exists to document my artistic journey over the years, to provide historical reference for my future self and to add an analytic focus to my growth as an artist. When my journey began in January 2013 my original idea was to become a master artist and I feel the best way to do this is through the combination of time and effort. My hope is to reach a point where I can consider myself a “master artist”, whatever that may be.
As I read the above paragraph and update this page 7 years later I realize now that I will never reach mastery, it will always be ahead of me as I get better every day. It is all about this amazing journey of art making!
An extra note on why I blog my progress every day.
In current contemporary art society we are told by many galleries to “Never show anything but your best work”. For marketing artwork I can understand the logic but in my soul, this feels wrong. This produces a society of young artists that have a very skewed notion of what it takes to create truly masterful works of art. I know, I was one of those artists.
Did you know that most master paintings you see took years to create? Did you know that many master works were a culmination of many previous attempts along with tons of studies? Not to mention all the years of hard work and learning just to “master” the fundamentals, that eventually would lead to an important painting.
I log my progress, my struggles and my triumphs daily so that many years from now other artists that I inspire can see what it took to get where I am. I hope that my daily log influences young artists to begin their journey with a focus NOT on creating a masterpiece, but on building a deep love for the process and also the amazing journey of creating.