Billy Pappas started a drawing of Marilyn Monroe in 1994, wanting to set a new standard for realistic imagery. He worked on the portrait full-time for nearly nine years. There is a documentary about his work called Waiting for Hockney.
Tim Jenison is an inventor who believed that Johannes Vermeer used a camera obscura to paint his paintings. He went on to try to replicate The Music Lesson using this technique. Talk about obsessed - he starts out by going to Buckingham Palace to view the original, then recreates the scene and makes everything in the scene by hand, including a harpsichord - BEFORE he even starts painting. The whole project took years. Check out the film about it - Tim's Vermeer.
Hell, it took Michelangelo 4 years to paint the Sistine Chapel after negotiating to do it how he wanted. He even designed his own scaffolding.
I could go on, but I'm sure you get the idea.
Do artists become good because they are obsessed or do they become obsessed because they are good?
A couple of weeks ago I found a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle and because we really don't eat dinner on the dinner table I found a had a place to set it up and work on it. It was a compilation of Norman Rockwell paintings - that's art, right?
Well, I became obsessed with working on this puzzle, it was all I could or wanted to do. Some nights I'd be up until 3 or 4 in the morning, looking for 'just one more piece.'
Doing puzzle after puzzle, I decided that I would stack them and then I can create something artistic with it when I'm done.
My husband keeps asking me why I keep doing this or why I am doing this. And the truth is - I just really like doing jigsaw puzzles, but it feels so frivolous to just do them for now reason - so then I become obsessed (again) to turn them into art.
So, I decided to document the process (to make it all even more meaningful - cuz you know that's important) and here is my first installment of my puzzle blog. As a friend once said to me - what could you possibly have to say about doing puzzles - you pick out the edge pieces, make the frame and then fill it in?
In the meantime... Are YOU obsessed with something? Tell us about it in the comments below!!