I recently participated in an outdoor art show in which the bank sign up the street read 106 degrees one day and 108 degrees the next day.
Now wait! - before you leave, I promise this isn't a blog complaining about the weather. It's August. It's supposed to be hot. I met a lot of great people and made good sales, so no complaints.
Rather this is about how inspiring it is, despite sometimes harsh conditions, to see fellow artists so passionate about their art that they refuse to be slowed down by age. Two of my friends, Robert, age 70, and Jim, age 80, were at the same show again this year. Both are painters, and both endured the heat for the duration while several younger participants packed up after one day. Through it all, they remained upbeat (that's not to say we didn't talk about the temperature once or twice). But they worked hard and made sales. I very much enjoy being around these kind of people, and I appreciate them setting such a great example of the American work ethic. These guys have been doing shows since the early 1970s.
My goal is to always work with the same intensity they have.
I read an article recently about artist Jeanne-Claude, in which she was quoted as saying "Artists don't retire. They die. That's all." Having noticed that several artists I admire have passed in recent years, but kept working right up to the end, I know she's right.