There’s a youtube video making the rounds, a little girl, maybe 10, goes on stage on Britains got talent and starts to dance to “I could have danced all night” very cute, very sweet, not so good with the dancing… and then she opens her mouth and out comes a voice that forces tears from your eyes. Amazing talent. Super gifted at 10. She was born with whatever it is that makes it easy for her to sing like that. I don’t think her parents forced her into voice lessons from the age of 6. She came in to the world with the necessary software already installed. Some people could spend their life practicing and not sing like that. Case in point, the guy who did this painting. Primo Conti, an Italian Futurist, born in 1900 who somehow got hooked up with some of the prominent painters of his day around 8 or 9 years of age. He painted this portrait when he was 16. You can’t learn this stuff with 4 or 5 years of training, especially as a kid. He was just given the gift of talent. Not only could he draw but he could interpret. I saw this painting in Florence and it blew me away and that was before I knew it was painted by a teenager. When I was 16 I was still drawing spaceships and surfers and tanks.
Now for the other 99%, such as myself, we have to get to it the hard way. Years of drawing, years of doing, logging the brush miles… you know, hard work. For me it’s slow and steady wins the race, I’ll just keep shlogging along until I get something worth looking at… or maybe that challenges my own sensibilities. This guy Primo, for all I know, peaked in his teens. He’s not what you would call a household name like other similar prodigies; Sargent, Picasso, etc. But clearly this guy had some kind of advantage in the painting leg of the race. Like that Olympic swimmer with the webbed toes.
Which reminds me. One nice thing about being a painter, it’s fortunately not like music, in that you may hit a song out of the park and the whole world knows about it for a couple of weeks and then it’s forgotten. It would really suck to be a one hit wonder… have that taste of fame for a few weeks and then left playing rv camps and aggie fairs for the rest of your life. Though I did hear that 3 dog night is coming to a big rv amphitheatre in Apopka. I think I’ll go… Jeremiah was a bullfrog.