What’s an Art Verve?

No it’s not an energy drink or a rock band…a “verve” is a noun and the standard definitions are 1) the energy or enthusiasm in the expression of ideas, especially in artistic performance or composition, i.e. “The revival lacked the verve of the original musical.” 2) Vitality; liveliness; synonym: vigor.

Artists need this type of stuff in order to keep on creating whether they know it or not and notice how we said, “keep on creating”…

(Vermeer, Johannes. The Art of Painting. c. 1666. oil on canvas.
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.)

Have you ever taken an art class and created a piece that you really liked or you were really proud of what you did and thought to yourself, “I can do this!” You then proceed to finish the class with an enormous amount of motivation to go out into the world and create even more.

You envision yourself producing a huge quantity of artwork or practicing day after day honing in your skills in order to become a master only to find yourself a few weeks later staring at all of your art supplies collecting dust?

You are missing the verve!

Folks that create art whether they are new to the process or masters need support and no one teaches this concept in school! There is a romantic idea that you will graduate with a degree in art, set up your studio, start painting and presto you become a professional artist.

On the other hand for beginners or self-taught artists, there are so many reasons to create but nothing is happening. This situation is similar to writer’s block but for visual artists, people are part of the equation and you need them to create the “verve”.

When you participate in an art class, you are getting the verve whether you recognize it or not. This is why you get so motivated to create even beyond your own practice or homework. Art guilds can have the same effect, we people draw or paint together.

Of course history repeats itself over and over. Ever wonder why all of those really famous artists throughout history were always found hanging out with each other. A great example of this is the French Impressionist art movement. These artists all knew each other, hung out together and in some cases even shared studio space. Together they changed the world, think about it.

Some of the most famous artistic movements have also been spawned by schools of art where the students collaborated with each other to create. For example, the Bauhaus was a famous art school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts and their students were responsible for the Art Deco movement in the early 20th century.

These folks were all sharing ideas, artistic techniques and together without awareness, they formed a “verve” for each other which allowed them to continue on creating throughout their careers. It’s really cheesy but, Barbara Streisand said the best,

“People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.”

So if you are not happy with quality or quantity of work that you are producing, take an art class, join an art guild, have coffee and draw with a friend or teach a class and you will catch the “verve” that will hopefully inspire you to move forward on your artistic journey!


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