On Being an Artist – Marco Cazzulini Day Seven

by Geoff Hall on January 27, 2012

“82b”, acrylic on canvas, 2011

Today –  Advice for young graduates

OK, no puns about leading you up the garden path! But actually, I do like a painting that leads you somewhere. Marco suggest that we can explore in this garden and maybe walk up to that shed (“82b”) and check it out. It’s a rich gardenscape, it reminds me of the ‘intimisme’ of Pierre Bonnard’s garden scenes; fecund with colour, quiet, intimate spaces.

Marco writes of  a year in which “artistic identity and heritage is recovered and restored”, which for a new graduate mean seem a little premature, but in view of Marco’s advancing years, let me say there are those who have gone before, who have blazed a trail, who have shown the way that faith can inform art; give it direction, shape, nuance and how our work doesn’t have to be obvious, literal or linear. What they have left for us is a heritage, a legacy from which is provided a starting point for our work. We don’t have to re-invent the wheel, or the landscape for that matter.


Day Seven– If you were giving advice to a young graduate wanting to make their way in the world as an artist, what would you say to them?

Give it a go! If it’s in your heart to do it’s a journey worth taking. You won’t know the end from the beginning and it will be full of twists, turns, ups, downs, gardens and deserts. Most of us, at some point, will marry the pragmatic with the idealistic but to be an artist is a journey of faith. From blank canvas to completed painting, from no cheque to pay cheque and from absence to presence try to preserve eyes of wonder. Watch out for the weeds of cynicism, envy and disappointment (they are quick and able growers). Don’t make every act of creativity a matter of life or death (though it may seem like it sometimes). In my younger days a ‘good’ painting raised me to mountain tops and a ‘bad’ painting scurrying to the caves. That’s far too much weight for ourselves, and our creative activity to bear. History can often mellow our perspective and change our views on what was a success or failure. Treat others generously, particularly when they are flying past you and you are shod with shoes of concrete.


The Artist - Marco Cazzulini

I’m not fifty yet but in my fiftieth year. My year of Jubilee. When Jesus declared that this is the year of the Lord’s favour I think he was referencing and ‘un-limiting’ the idea of a prescribed year of Jubilee. In essence, according to Hebraic biblical law, Jubilee years allowed various things to be rightfully returned and re-united with their original owners. For me, I want to see how much I can embrace Jubilee as part of God’s kindness to me. Perhaps, among many other things, this will be a year when part of my artistic identity and heritage is recovered and restored. And, as I hope it is so for me, may it also be for others.


I’d like to thank Marco for his contributions this week and I know from the responses you have enjoyed them too.

Peace and Love,



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