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Pearls from artists* # 253

Barbara's studio with works in progress

Barbara’s studio with works in progress

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

There is a notion that creative people are absent-minded, reckless, heedless of social customs and obligations.  It is, hopefully, true.  For they are in another world altogether.  It is a world where the third self is governor.  Neither is the purity of art the innocence of childhood, if there is such a thing.  One’s life as a child, with all its emotional rages and ranges, is but grass for the winged horse – it must be chewed well in those savage teeth.  There are irreconcilable differences between acknowledging and examining the fabulations of one’s past and dressing them up as though they were adult figures, fit for art, which they will never be.  The working, concentrating artist is an adult who refuses interruption from himself, who remains absorbed and energized in and by the work – who is responsible to the work. 

Mary Oliver in Upstream: Selected Essays

Comments are welcome!

Pearls from artists* # 215

Barbara's easel

Barbara’s easel

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

Instead of a clean narrow pathway to a goal, creators take risks, seek out new experiences, and reconcile contradictions.  Indeed this dance of contradictions is exactly what may give rise to the intense inner drive to create.  As the journalist Carolyn Gregoire and I put it in our recent book Wired to Create:  Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind, creative people have “messy minds.”

We wouldn’t have it any other way.  Without these rebellious experts, these passionate meaning-makers, these doers and dreamers, we would be bereft of some of humanity’s greatest creative accomplishments.  Creative geniuses reveal what is within human reach, what we may all be capable of achieving with the drive to make meaning and the courage to create.

Scott Barry Kaufman in “A Capacity for Genius,” Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart 50th Anniversary, July 22 – August 27, 2016 Playbill

Comments are welcome!