The blaue rider 

       march 2006






Chapter Zero



Chapter One

Geeta Vadhera


Chapter Two

Living with vague impressions


Chapter Three: Letters

Art connections


Published by

The Studios of Patrick Otis Cox  


Kandinsky, Composition # 8


Art as Living or Art as a way of Life?

The fall lingers on, the flannel pajamas are warm and the soft morning sun flows over the windowsill”, Patrick Otis Cox.

Art as a living or art as a life? To sell your work to support life or the art of living. Quitting the day job and to live like an artist is the dream and the dream is somewhat fleeting. Do you market your work? Contact and expose your feelings to everyone? Sell your emotions? These are questions we face to live as an artist. I did just that, two periods in my life I supported myself as a full time artist and had some success, but what a price to pay. Some people didn’t want me to succeed and I often wondered why? Inundated by depression caused by my misdirection and I give up. But then I try again after seeing the light flowing over the windowsill.  Do you understand? Do you appreciate why?

The first attempt to make a living at painting was in my mid twenties and I was so good at capturing a real moment.  An old man working on a truck. A woman by a piano. My Brother and his Wife. My sister’s three sons. You could feel the humanity through the paintings, it was a form of communication beyond words. My subjects were happy, fanatical, adoring, longing, and distressing. I entered a show and sold a work and won an award. Cool, I began to dream of quitting my job and becoming a bohemian painter. So I used the lessons in life to become a professional full time artist. I saw what was selling and started duplicating it. I sold more. I saw successful artists who took notice of what sold and did a slight variation of that one style or subject and sold it over and over and over and over.

I did the same and art soon became a typical factory job. I lost my sole. I bought my canvases and frames wholesale, looked for any outlet to show my work, banks, art shows, galleries, friends and professional offices. Yes, professional offices. When sells where slow I would load up several small paintings and go into a large office building and go door to door selling my work. And they bought, but what a price. After approximately a year and half I realized I traded one job for another, and because my product was just a minor variation on previous works it became repetitious and I grew to hate art. Something that started as magic, ended in depression.

The light stopped flowing over the windowsill. I quit painting, ran out of money and went back to engineering. Two years later I decided to paint again, but this time I would only produce work that was true to me.

That was 22 years ago. In 2002 I gave up the day job and made a living with my art, but this time I did it my way. The income was up and down and again I went back to work. I sell many paintings, but not consistently. But now I know only to paint what is real to me. This is not selfish. If I do a painting of a friend or my wife I captured a fleeting connection that will never happen in the same way again and it affects the people involved. The work I produce now is so much better in content. Like a Wong Kar Wai movie, it happens, you feel it, you are affected and it’s fades away. But for the moment you have clarity and hopefully a connection with the light flowing over the windowsill.


Patrick Otis Cox