Its been said that an artist's work peaks by a certain age, and I wonder if that is necessarily true...and by what judgments?
An earlier time in one's professional career developments is often a time of proving one's self, one's skills, and the ego of the artist seeks almost desperately attention and reputation...almost to a fault. Entering into more senior years, one sees the futility and near mockery of time that anything much was made to begin with of reputation. Becoming quite comfortable in one's own skin and needing very little recognition to fuel one's sense of purpose, the artist may well discover the freedom and joy found in painting for oneself. Is this then when it is said that the peak has been reached?
I have gone from my 200 to 300 labor intensive hours per painting in studio with aims to best other artists, compete for recognition and end of year sales to prefer the process of painting itself as my source of satisfaction. While such may be considered coming to one's peak, I find more a coming into myself as a painter. Preferring to set up on location and paint outdoors, I have found painting a wonderful and ideal vehicle to embrace the moment, explore and find intimacy in nature, and celebrate life thru painting.
I needn't have justification any longer thru sales and reputation to understand who and what I am about as an artist, but find inspite of all the insanity of the modern times and world we live in...that I can grow a thankful heart for this gift of living, a settling into peace with my God, and if my paintings can translate and instill a sense of this for others, bring joy as well...then even a greater blessing.