How long did it take you to make that? / by Cynthia Lait

“Something suddenly came up” 16” x 16”

“Something suddenly came up” 16” x 16”

This question is often asked of artists.  Usually, it’s simple curiosity.  Occasionally, there’s a subtle ‘is the price you’re asking worth the time it took to make this?’ undercurrent.  In those cases, I like to quote an old Picasso story that’s been told many times. While there’s some doubt to its veracity, here goes:

Picasso is in a cafe, does a doodle on a napkin and signs it. The guy next to him asks if he can have it.  Picasso hands it to the guy, and says, “That’ll be 30,000 francs.”  The guy says, “30,000 francs? That took you five seconds.”  Picasso says, “No, that took 5 seconds and a lifetime.”

There’s a certain amount of truth to that story. Like any skilled person, most artists have many years of education and dedicated practice behind them in order to perfect their craft. They have dug deep to make work that expresses their unique voice, invested in a studio, studio materials and a studio practice. What you won’t see in a gallery or show are the ‘misses’ or pieces that didn’t make the cut. You’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg.

Making art can be hard.  But not making art is harder.  That’s why I’m so grateful for all of my subscribers and followers who support this work. Thank you for your kind words and supportive actions.  You make this work meaningful!