Friday, February 8, 2013


A frame from the movie Endrei Rublev by Andrei Tarkovsky

Some of you have probably noticed that my posts have become short and somewhat meager lately. One of the main reasons is that, for some time now, my mind has been tormented by my own present artistic infertility and a feeling that I have lost my direction, my compass. Well, this is nothing unusual because all of us experience similar kind of problems at the certain moment in our life. This often marks a turning point, approaching of the crossroads, a transition from one stage, or level, to another. Such a situation inevitably creates a certain amount of turbulence and disorder, since the fundamental and established thoughts, desires and dreams, that have powered our system and allowed it to be stable and to function optimally, for a certain reason start to move and shake.
I have reached the place in my artistic career which I was longing for to arrive at for many preceding years. This kind of longing of mine does not exists anymore, it has fulfilled its function by bringing me to the desired spot. No longing, no motivation. No motivation, no creative vitality. However uncomfortable and disturbing, this turbulence and the mental pain and disorientation that goes with it, has forced me to reconsider the very motifs for becoming an artist and for spending the biggest portion of my life on making art.
As a result of this struggle I came up with a statement that is supposed to help me find a new sense of direction and purpose, and therefore revitalize the creative spirit in me. It is expressed through the following words:
- If my work (art) keeps me from doing a backbreaking physical work, or a mind numbing monotonous kind of work, and helps me feed myself and my family, it’s good!
- If it helps me express my mental and emotional issues, it’s excellent.

- If it helps others to get closer to their own heart, it’s useful.
- If it helps me get famous and rich, it’s seductive and tricky.

- If it guides me through my inner Dark Forest, helps me slain dragons and demons, or make them my friends and allies, and shows me the way out of it to a sunny meadow, it’s wondrous, it fulfills its holy purpose and justifies itself.
One of the reasons I am revealing this rather intimate issue to you is that I know that there are many souls out there who are having, or will have in the future, the same kind of issues with themselves and their art. My confession will not solve your problem, but it might help a little by showing you that you are not alone in this struggle, that even the accomplished and “successful” among us have to deal with these things sooner or later, in one or another way. It might help you realize thatperhaps you too have to come up with some kind of statement that will calm down your psyche and help you regain the balance and peace of mind. As it has always been, the ways of the World are often seductive and misleading, and there is always a price tag attached to it.
In that respect, I was delighted to discover that a much bigger artist and a greater mind than myself has defined art and its purpose in a similar way. Below you can find out what Andrei Tarkovsky (1932 Zavrazhye, Soviet Union – 1986 Paris, France), one of the greatest Russian movie directors, said about ART. The films of Andrei Tarkovsky have been revered as ranking on a par with the masterpieces of Russia's novelists and composers. His work, from films such as Ivan's Childhood , Andrei Rublev , Solaris, Stalker, has had an enormous influence on the style of contemporary European film.


  1. A wonderfully written explanation of the exact feeling many of us feel at one time or another. I'm especially pleased that I read this because, for me, I'm going through this exact thing now. It feels very much like a crisis with no clear solution, but it helps to know how common it is.


    1. Thank you, Ricky, for your honest comment! It is indeed important to know that we are not the only ones who have to go through this kind of situation. It is easier to bear it when you know you are not alone in this struggle. I really don’t know why…but it’s true. Perhaps you would like to read the comments on this blog as well

  2. Petar, I think that most people, both amateurs as well as professionals, wish they could paint like you. I think many times you may know the "easy" route to a "good" painting, but choose not to take that route because you know it would not be a "great" painting. Not knowing you personally, my assumption is that you would rather go through the mental anguish one must endure in order to seek out that great piece of art that lives within, rather than create something that is simply satisfactory. When that great painting becomes elusive, one begins to re-examine the point of a life spent searching. I know this has been my experience in my own artistic endeavors. I think the spirit of an artist allows him to feel both the beautiful and the sadness of the world in a way ordinary people could never comprehend. And while we often wish we could only experience the beauty without the sadness, inside we know that there could be none without the other. I believe that there is a great painting at the end of this, and it is waiting to come out. Best wishes.


    1. Hi Phil,
      I am aware of a certain impact that my work has on others and their desire to be able to paint like I do. As long as it provides them with a necessary stimulus to learn and develop their own approach to painting, and art in general, I am OK with that. Who needs another surrogate of Petar!? Perhaps Petar is already a kind of surrogate of something much greater then himself :)

      As for the “easy route to a good painting”, yes, I believe I know that route :) The problem with this route is that once you have taken that road, it soon becomes a side-track that will lead you to automatism, and that in its turn leads to stagnation and subsequent weakening of the pulse of your art. Therefore I often choose “ the road less travelled”. Mental anguish lurks in ambush along this road :)
      Yes, Phil, you are right!

  3. People wants to paint like Petar because of his experience and ability to paint actually that he wants (I hope).

    My teacher in university said in numerous interviews that is the main aim of his art is his trying to understand himself. So his art is a one big experiment. Nothing is forever, everything changes. Also, together with the person, so does art.

    It is therefore useful to try something that had not previously done. It's liberating. Opens a second wind (Russian idiom meaning a new burst of energy, inspiration, etc.).

    Petar - you are a professional, I think what we see in your blog now, in the future you will call "simple sketches" :)

    Success in work!

    1. Hi Mihail,
      When you are a young, aspiring artist you want, you have to learn. Experimentation is a necessary part of that process. Beside repetition, experimentation is one of the major preconditions for healthy development. Many artists not only keep on experimenting throughout their entire art career, but they even make a statement of it and one of the main purposes of their art making.

      Naturally I have been experimenting with art as well, especially in the beginning of my art career, but it has never been a major aim within my own package of aims and aspirations. Nowadays for every new painting I set a new challenge for myself, which inevitably implies a certain amount of experimentation (it is useful and refreshing, indeed), but I almost never give it a primary role in my creative process. In my case, it is just one of the means to a bigger and more important goal, not a goal itself. That goal reaches much deeper than a notion that “everything is changing”, which when seen in a certain context is absolutely true. As an artist and a mortal human being, I am more interested in finding “never changing” core of ever changing world :)

  4. Petar,
    In general, you're right. I'm young, to tell you about the problems of art.

    But I can tell you a compliment about your work, although you a hundred times already talked about how low the jaw falls off people from your pictures :) So, I will not repeat (despite the fact that it is so nice) :)

    The main thing that you have raised this topic. And, who is in a similar situation, will know what to do.

    1. Mihail,
      No matter your age, please keep on expressing your opinion. At the same time be aware that things we say in a honest way always reflect our present level of competence, insight and our present aspirations. Being young you still might lack a bit of practical life experience (which according to some can be replaced by an easy access to a huge amount of information on the internet, which is of course an illusion), but you have a weapon in your arsenal that we older people inevitably lose along the way; a fresh, flexible and optimistic (idealistic) gaze of youth. Whilst my gaze is becoming stiff and heavy :)
      We both can and should learn from this situation, right?

      Take care,
      and спасибо for your comment :)

  5. Na muci se poznaju junaci.................drz se Petre!