In the Star Wars movies, Luke Skywalker trained to become a Jedi Master. He left his training before he was "graduated" and never got to finish working with Master Yoda. He was full of himself and thought surely he knew the best way to go about his life. In the end, he became a Jedi Master anyway, but it was not without difficulties that would have been avoided had he stayed to complete the work in the first place.
Masters of Art is somewhat like this. There are comparatively few Masters in the world of art than there are or have ever been artists. Of those that are Masters, few of them are actually acknowledged and recognized as a Master during their own lifetime--da Vinci, Michelangelo, Picasso perhaps, maybe Warhol, Matisse, Dali...but even this is not a certainty.
Artists should continue their training throughout their lifetimes. We never know when our artwork will catch the eye of the "right" critic, the right gallery, the right buyer. We just must continually improve our skills, hone our craft.
The general population and art critics of the time did not appreciate nor agree that many of those we consider Masters were in fact Masters. It seems that at least in modern times, you must be deceased to have value and to be considered a Master. There are a few possible exceptions who are living, but much of their current status is a result of some very clever marketing and placement. Time will tell if their artworks will live beyond them or garner the respect of a Master.
What does this mean for those of us who are not Masters? It means we must continue to practice, to learn, to study, to do the art that is ours to do. In reality, worrying about being a Master is not why most artists do art. We do art, we create because we can't not do art or create. We are driven by some inner sense of urgency to put brush to paint, ink to paper, to sketch, draw, and express. Most of us will not be acknowledged by the world as Masters and many of us will live and die in obscurity with our artwork never being in a show, never being in a museum, never being noticed by an art critic other than our self. Perhaps, if we are lucky, our family and friends will value our artwork and treasure it, creating heirlooms. And who knows if some day it may not be discovered and considered a Masterwork.
But this does not matter. Not all artists are masters. But all artists are artists.
(c) 2017, SZing, Bohemian Art Cafe. All Rights Reserved. Photographs courtesy of Bohemian Art Cafe and Pixabay's public domain images.