Art Quote for the Day

ORIGINALITY AND STYLE

Now we should consider the difficult question of how to be original.  You’ve doubtless been told there is nothing that hasn’t been done already – or as Herman Melville, recalling Ecclesiastes, wrote in Moby Dick, ” Verily  there is nothing new under the sun.”  Fortunately, there’s an unpretentious but strong idea that runs counter to this bleak pronouncement.  It was put most succinctly by a jazz musician who said, “The way to be new is to be yourself.”  Georgia O’Keefe added, “….. the simple fact of yourself – there it is-just you-no excitement about it – a very simple fact – the only thing you have- keep it as clear as you can.” From a very different world we hear a similar refrain.  In a Toltec codex, we read” ” The true artist….. maintains dialogue with his heart, meets things with his mind”

You’re probably asking, “What does that mean?”  Think about what ideas, experiences, and passions have influenced you most profoundly.  Do you find your eyes and your attention returning to certain things again and again?  Perhaps there are some aspects of the world you are peculiarly sensitive to?  The responses to these types of considerations may appear to be alternately of immense import and seemingly trivial.  Somewhere among the answers lie the road markers for findng your own expression.  You may very well not know for a long time which of these answers are the most significant;however, you can be certain they all point in the right direction.

The Blank Canvas – Inviting the Muse by Anna Held Audette

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Art Quote of the Day

“The experience of unexpectedly seeing something that sets you off – a color, a relationship, an event – isn’t necessarily the sudden occurrence you think it is.. It may have actually  taken a long time for the idea to sift through your consciousness.  Few people are aware that, for an artist, the gestation period for a particular idea may be many years.  Georgia O’Keefe first looked at bones in 1916 but they did not show up as a subject in her paintings until 1930.  When he was 20 Claude Monet spent two years of military service in Africa and was greatly impressed by the light and color he observed there. This impression contained, as he put it, ” the germ” of his later work. Many artists experience the flash  of a new idea, followed by a slowly dawning awareness that they’ve known about it vaguely for a long time.  They just weren’t ready to recognize it.

In short , what will end up “inspiring” you are those things that satisfy some powerful internal visual need, which only time and much work will reveal.

When this happens, you may find you are having what seems to be a slightly odd experience.  An object, for example, ceases to be defined as we commonly understand it. A pepper is not a vegetable that is good in salads.  It is a remarkably complex, undulating green surface vaguely suggestive of the human form.  This is part of what is meant when people say that artists see “differently”. It leads some artists to maintain that the subject of a work of art is not just the thing depicted.

The Blank Canvas – Inviting the Muse by Anna Held Audette