* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
It’s painful to think of the number of paintings that don’t work, not only my own, but also what I see in galleries and museums. Such failures may be adequately painted but they don’t sing. They left the studio but they aren’t happy about it. It’s simple and inevitable: there’s work we artists do that doesn’t come together. And for each of us there’s only one solution to this problem. You just continue to make paintings, and you make more paintings, and then for no particular reason all of a sudden you start to click and all the pieces that you’ve been working with, the direction you’ve been perceiving “as if through a glass darkly” is now open and clear, in all its glory. We paint and everything falls into place. That expression of “being in the zone” expresses the experience perfectly. There is a momentum you’ve built up which was essential to this work. If you had been waiting for inspiration, waiting for that flow to begin, it would have caught you too flat-footed to notice. It arrived out of the readiness that all the previous work created in you. Regardless of how sluggish that process may have seemed at the time, things were lining up in preparation, ideas were formulating.
Ian Roberts, Creative Authenticity: 16 Principles to Deepen Your Artistic Vision
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