Artists are patrons nowadays.

There are exceptions, to be sure.  Writers can still make money doing good stuff.  Some movie makers too.  But official architecture and official painting and sculpture are bad, and classical music and theater are isolated to a few larger cities.

Most of the decent art I have seen was done as a sideline and often donated.

Most of the created beauty I have seen was done as a labor of love.

It seems the artist is the patron. His largesse is beauty.

Image result for winston churchill painting

This phenomenon is probably a sign of decay in the arts—the patronized artist as canary in the coal mine.

But I think there is real health to this too. Official art should always be a minority.  Most of the beauty we can come across will be in our daily lives.  Beauty in conversation, beauty in our homes, beauty we make for our own families.  And it will be beautiful because it was done for love.

I had these thoughts a few days ago while I was building my first fire of the season. I smelled as if for the first time the rumbly, deep-throated cinnamon burr of cottonwood smoke . . .

Image result for wood stove fire

And I knew that the greatest artist is our patron.

Continue reading at the original source →