I made a decision after painting three portraits that that may not be the direction I want to take. It just seems mundane and like work. Its way too mechanical and I don't see a lot of glory in the faces as they are normally posed. I do see some glory and beauty in the lights and play on light but for the most part, when I paint portraits it seems like labor to me. I want it to seem like passion.
That won't preclude me from painting them though. I will paint them for fun or for money if its a fair amount. I may even paint them for others simply to please them. I am not happy however about the consistent exploitation of "artist as mercenary" that many feel my skills give to them. Nobody owns my talent, it is a gift and others are wrong to exploit it.
As I ramble- I must say that Liz has struggled with my apathy towards painting. She doesn't quite understand it. Nor do I. However, she did say some words which were extremely important to me. She told me I have to paint for myself as I don't need to paint simply to make money. That completely changes my attitude on painting as I've always internally viewed it as a means to be creative but externally as a means for a living. The two clash and hence I stay away from painting.
With the ability to take decent pictures on my I-phone, I've often taken pictures of things I feel would make a good painting. And often I find that there is something I am looking for. Its a mix of color and light but mostly its a means of what I view as beauty. This does create a fire in me as I want to paint this beauty. I feel it does represent my view of the world.