Pearls from artists* # 13

"Stigmata," soft pastel on sandpaper

“Stigmata,” soft pastel on sandpaper

* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.

Putting aside Steven’s references to God, I enjoy this quote. Give us what you’ve got, indeed!

Are you a born writer?  Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace?  In the end the question can only be answered by action.

Do it or don’t do it.

It may help to think of it this way.  If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don’t do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself, you hurt your children.  You hurt me.  You hurt the planet.

You shame the angels who watch over you and you spite the Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter farther along its path back to God.

Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor.  It’s a gift to the world and every being in it.  Don’t cheat us of your contribution.  Give us what you’ve got.

Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

Comments are welcome.

About barbararachkoscoloreddust

Barbara’s thoughts on art, the creative process, soft pastel, the inspiration she finds in travel, what it’s like to be an artist in New York, and other wisdom for artists as we travel our solitary and sometimes lonely roads.

Posted on November 7, 2012, in 2012, Art in general, Inspiration, Pearls from Artists, Quotes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Yes, we must share our gift however possible. Enjoyed this post.

  2. Hello Barbara, I’m very pleased to meet you. I started a piece a long number of years ago and decided last week to buy fresh Pastels and Fixative and to finish my work off. Then I posted a photo of the unfinished picture on my Photo Blog as the week’s theme was ‘Renewal’ and immediately I chose the picture as the representation. I would really love you to look at it and just read the little I have written…..

    The reason I ask is because of the quote you posted as it made me feel some pain that I gave up on what I was essentially starting to develop as an artist. A post idea for my written blog is going to be about creativity with an exploration into the subject from my perspective along with musings.

    It’s interesting to me how I decided on buying new tools, knowing what photo to take on the week’s theme and then finding your blog – this also ties in with the quote. Looks like it might be written in the stars for me.

    Imogen 🙂

    • Imogen, the quotes are words and ideas that personally resonate with my life and work. By definition each artist is unique. The words won’t necessarily be true for you.

      • That particular quote did touch me and the words did hold some meaning for me so I took away something good from it All quotes are not exclusively meant for one person and one person only – they can be shared by many. I wish you well.

      • Imogen, that is certainly true. I’m wondering, what was it exactly about the quote that caused you to “feel some pain,” as you mentioned in your earlier post? I think I may have missed your meaning there.

      • Because I gave up Barbara. My Art Tutor who saw me doing this Pastel said that he could see that I have something very special and I’m one to watch (I’m near to crying). And I just gave up and quit and never gave myself a chance. That’s why I could understand the quote and how I felt so much pain.

      • People stop making art for all kinds of reasons. It’s not an easy life. For starters, very few artists make a living. Maybe you’ll come back to it at a later time in your life. I did something similar. I stopped painting when I was a teenager – my father actively discouraged me – and didn’t rediscover art until twenty years later.

      • Thank You for sharing that, I appreciate it. I think I am getting close to starting up again. I actually felt a pang of excitement then! Sometimes I guess we have to recover what was never lost in the first place only buried by circumstances. 🙂

      • Imogen, maybe not exactly buried, just put aside to await a better time and more favorable circumstances.

  3. I feel that you have nicely put it Barbara and summed it up perfectly 🙂 I knew I had to talk to someone and you understand it and have helped me see sense of the Art struggle I am going through. The right time will come. I’ll let it come naturally in its own time. Thank you very much for this. God Bless, Imogen.

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